Making Void the Word of God
Making Void the Word of God
"Jesus told them, 'Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is worthless, because they teach human rules as doctrines." You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.'"
Mark 7:6-8 ISV
"Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16 ESV
Must have a gigantic facade.
Must have a gigantic facade.
The scary thing? These aren't even the largest ones. Not even close. There are larger ones around and who in the world knows how many billions and billions of dollar-equivalents were required to complete these monstrosities. Most of the larger ones were well over a century of construction. They are nice to look at for certain but, when the goal is to spread the Gospel and feed the poor, these are difficult to justify.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to build a nice place to meet that is dedicated to the LORD. However, most of these are not dedicated to the LORD, but rather various saints. This seems foolish and forever removes the excuse of the fragrant oil (John 12) as a reason to waste such vast resources. The story of the fragrant oil also doesn't hold water because the only reason Judas objected was because he was a thief. This is not the case.
The theology of purgatory is a slap to the face of Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice cleanses all who believe of all sin. Once you are purged of sin, there is no trace of it left. Indeed, God does not even recollect our sins:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more"
Hebrews 8:12 KJV
We are made righteous as a gift through the offering of Christ:
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV
It is through faith that we are accepted by God, not works:
“For, 'Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.' But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Hebrews 10:37-39 KJV
Christ paid the punishment for all sin. There is no punishment for those made righteous by His sacrifice:
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 10:10 KJV
If you have believed the message of Christ, you are counted as righteous:
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
Philippians 3:8-9 KJV
If this does not have you convinced, consider lastly the thief on the cross. He neither repented nor was water-baptized, yet He received mercy and that very day was with Jesus in Paradise:
"And he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”"
Luke 23:42-43 ESV
King James Version Only
King James Version Only
The King James Version of the Bible is an accurate and reliable version to be sure, but it is not the ONLY reliable version nor the most accurate. With that said, the King James Version is one of our favorite sources of scripture, but you aren't the devil if you use another. Of course, take caution where else you look.
The best possible way to study the Word and seek the Truth is through multiple sources, including multiple translations. Not every translation is worthy of being considered "inspired", but the KJV is certainly not the only inspired version. Other word-for-word translations like NASB and ESV are wonderful for study and have more modern English.
The common complaint from KJV-only people is that verses are "removed". The truth is that verses were included in the Textus Receptus (from which the KJV was translated) that may not have been a part of the original text. Manuscripts from hundreds of years earlier have been discovered that do not contain those verses in question and so are assumed to have been added by scribes. The NASB and ESV both include the scripture in question, either in body or footnote, annotated to acknowledge that they might not belong.
Prayer to Saints and Angels
Praying to men and angels is most certainly hurtful to our heavenly Father, to whom all praise, honor, and glory is due. We are all well accustomed to hearing of God's wrath against unrighteousness, but how often do we think of His grief? God is a person. We are all made in His likeness. We see in the Gospels that Jesus, who is the exact representation of God, experiences grief:
"He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."
Isaiah 53:3 ESV
Furthermore, Jesus also took our grief upon Himself:
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted."
Isaiah 53:4 ESV
God the Father also grieves:
"How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!"
Psalms 78:40 ESV
We know that because of the promise, He will not be angry with those who have believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. However, we can still grieve the heart of the LORD:
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
We were not sealed by the spirit of Mary, nor Paul, nor Moses or any other man or angel. No praise is due the creation, but rather the Creator; how great a creator we have Who gives us all things! Mary can do nothing for you, because without Christ Mary is nothing. Indeed, without Christ no one is anything. Furthermore, the Bible instructs us to make petitions directly to God through our High Priest Jesus Christ:
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
John 14:6 ESV
We also have no need to petition anyone other than Christ for intercession, as He stands ready day and night to do this on our behalf:
"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."
We are commanded to pray for others here on the earth and to pray together in agreement, but in no wise are we to petition men or angels. Why would we do that when we have the Son of God eagerly waiting to fulfill this for us? How much sorrow we must bring on Him when we look elsewhere!
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
Sacrament of Penance
Sacrament of Penance
There are few traditions farther from truth or more blasphemous than that of the confessional. Firstly, every single sin is a mortal one. Adam ate an apple, which caused the fall of man. It wasn't the apple, but his disobedience. Any disobedience, no matter how small it seems, is mortal. Fortunately, this Catholic tradition is nonsense. Secondly, no man has the authority to absolve you of your sin. Every person sins and so every person requires the same measure of grace from God. The Church has zero authority when it comes to sin. There is one judge, God, and one who justifies, God, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the righteous. Once we confess Christ with saving faith we are born again. We are perfect in spirit and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, sealed for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). Sin cannot penetrate our born-again spirit. We are perfected forever (Heb 10:14). If we are perfected forever because of the sacrifice of Christ, why should we suppose we could ever be imperfect? No, all who believe are made perfect. The question is, do you really believe? Lastly, you don't need a priest to talk to God. We have access to our Father through Jesus Christ (Eph 2:18). God wants to hear from you directly. If you have fallen and need to repent, you can go straight to God in prayer; He is eagerly waiting to run to you and wrap His loving arms around you.
"And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him."
Luke 15:20 ESV
Salvation by Faith and Flesh
"For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is God's gift, and is not on the ground of merit-- so that it may be impossible for any one to boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9 WNT
We see here that salvation is a gift from God; it cannot be earned in any way. We even lack the very faith required for salvation, which is also a gift. Salvation is a free gift from start to finish. Man may take credit for nothing:
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 KJV
This is no new thing, but has been the same from the beginning. No man apart from Christ Himself has ever found merit from God by works of the flesh. No amount of good deeds can earn you God's favor:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
Romans 3:10 KJV
God is not impressed by any human being. Indeed, all people fail to achieve the glory of God, which is Christ. It goes on to say:
"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Romans 3:12 KJV
God said plainly that there are no people that do good. How then is good wrought in this world? By His Spirit. Man loves to take credit for the work of God, but it is foolish to think that we, by the works of our flesh, can be made acceptable in His sight. No, every person on the earth is wholly unacceptable, though there are many who do not believe so. This was the reason for the Law; to show each person their failure:
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
Romans 3:19 KJV
We see here that the entire world is guilty before God. Every believer, whether a babe, priest, bishop, or pope requires the same saving grace from God the Father through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is no grading curve; no hierarchy of holiness. We are either 100% righteous or 100% evil:
"For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all."
James 2:10 EMTV
So we see that we either get a 100% on the test or a 0%. Every person who has ever lived apart from Christ has received a 0%:
"But now the righteousness of God apart from the law has been revealed, being witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and upon all those that believe. For there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:21-23 EMTV
Because of this, there is no place for boasting among us. There are none closer to God than another because of works. As it is written:
"Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
Romans 8:8 ESV
By studying virtually any book of the Bible, we can see that it is faith alone that pleases God:
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Righteousness required to enter heaven is received by faith, not works:
"Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified."
Galatians 2:16 ESV
Justification comes by faith in Christ. Once you are born again, you are made righteous; the very righteousness of God lives inside of every single born-again Christian:
"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
Romans 8:9-10 ESV
It is a common fable that once we are born-again, we are forgiven up to that point, but afterwards remaining in right standing with God, and so ultimately entering heaven, is up to us. This could not be farther from the Truth. Once you are a child of God you are His and will by no means be cast out, no matter how many times you fall. By the blood of Christ you are perfected forever and should have no fear of being cast into hell. This is great news, the Gospel. This Gospel invariably leads to one single question from the religious:
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"
Any true child of God is a completely new creature, with the Spirit of Christ dwelling inside them leading them to do the will of God from the heart out of love and thanksgiving, not fear of punishment. Indeed, all sin was punished in the body of Jesus. When you die, you are either saved because of faith, or damned because of unbelief. There is no purgatory. All who hear this Gospel and believe will be saved. All who reject it will be condemned.
"Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"
Galatians 3:2-3 ESV
This is one of the more strange of the extra-biblical commands. There is exactly zero merit for such a silly rule. David danced before the Lord. The Psalms implore us to dance for the Lord also.
"And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod."
2 Samuel 6:14 KJV
"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."
Ecclesiastes 3:4 KJV
"Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry."
Jeremiah 31:4 KJV
"Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!"
Psalms 149:3 ESV
Go to a Church
Go to a Church
It is commonly accepted that if you do not attend a service at an actual Church building, you did not attend Church. There are multiple things wrong with this tradition. The Church of Acts did not have fancy buildings and thousand "member" congregations. They understood that the Church is the believer, not the building. They met in homes and in the Temple in small groups. Only on rare occasions did a multitude gather. This kept the family close and the worship pure. There's nothing wrong with attending a Church to be sure, but that is not to be mandated to the body as a rule.
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Matthew 18:20 KJV
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."
Acts 2:42 ESV
According to tradition, if you don't attend Church on Sunday, you're basically an infidel. There are three errors with this tradition that stand out. Firstly, the sabbath day was sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, not on Sunday. Secondly, the first Church met every single day. Lastly, the Bible commands us not to adhere to an establishment of a holy day. Being that Christ is Lord of the sabbath rest, every day is technically now the sabbath day.
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Colossians 2:16-17 KJV
"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His."
Hebrews 4:9-10 ESV
Another Nonsensical tradition. Singing praise with instruments is all throughout the scripture. The Psalms were often set to music also.
"Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp."
Psalms 149:3 KJV
"Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp."
Psalms 150:3 KJV
"Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps."
1 Chronicles 15:28 KJV
"The LORD will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the LORD."
Isaiah 38:20 ESV
The Church is not a business and teaching is not a career. There is basically no way an outsider would know this by what is seen today. There are actually non-believers in positions of authority in the Church because they decided to make theology a career. This is wrong and a main reason for the faulty "Gospels" being preached today. Even believers are forced to attend theological seminaries and the like that have unbelieving teachers. This should not be so. First of all, the Gospel cannot be understood by an unbeliever; how could they possibly teach? Second, we have one teacher, the Christ. God longs to teach us His mystery, all we have to do is search with all of our heart.
"It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me."
John 6:45 ESV
There is one Church and one Gospel. Any alterations are perversions. The devil has done a great job infiltrating the Church and breaking it apart.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV
"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
Acts 20:29-30 KJV
"Not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ."
Galatians 1:6-7 ESV
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
1 Peter 2:9 KJV
"Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 ESV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14 KJV
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 3:20 ESV
It has become the custom of many Church congregations and Christians to picket. Why is this so? Did Jesus tell us to be sure we protested the world and let them know how evil they are and how holy we are? Certainly not. To the contrary, Jesus makes it clear that without Him we are every bit as evil. He also teaches us not to focus on the sins of other people, especially those outside the Church. It is the people within the Church we should look out for, but even so, we are to look to ourselves first. It is important to remember that there is no hierarchy of sin nor a hierarchy of righteousness. We are either righteous or unrighteous, there is no gray area. The difference between the two is simple; does the person in question believe the Gospel? If so, they are righteous; if not, they are unrighteous. This condemnation of the world is only hurting our cause. First of all, those who don't believe are condemned already. Secondly, Christ fulfilled the law for a reason, so we would not be oppressed by it. We should not oppress others with it either.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"
Matthew 7:1-3 ESV
"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. 'Purge the evil person from among you.'"
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ESV
"There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"
James 4:12 ESV
"God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth."
1 Timothy 2:4 CEV
"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture."
John 10:9 ESV
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 10:13 KJV
"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2 ESV
These certainly don't sound like good arguments for Calvinistic predestination. If the path is chosen and orchestrated by God, what need is there to preach? Furthermore, what need is there to labor to enter His rest? If the decision were already made for us we would have no responsibility in the matter. The scriptures often referred to as an argument for predestination come from Romans and Ephesians. It is true the Greek word for "predestination" means to "ordain beforehand", but most miss the more important part of Romans 8:29:
" For whom he did foreknow.."
God knows the end from the beginning, including all who would call on Jesus for salvation. For this reason He made it our destiny to be conformed to the image of His Son.