How important is it to have no changes to what God has said to mankind? Our Lord says that
it is rather significant to our salvation. Consider the following from both the Old and New
Covenants: “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... What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor
diminish from it... Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in
him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar... 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”
(Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, and Revelation 22:18-19).
Above we can see clearly that our Lord does not want any changes to His word. The true
word of God contains the power of salvation (John 6:63, Romans 1:16, II Timothy 3:15-17, and I
Peter 1:22-25). When twisted, these words will cause destruction (II Peter 3:16-17).
The work of Satan is to corrupt our minds so that we do not see the simplicity that is in
Christ (II Corinthians 11:3). Consider, God warned Adam saying: “But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou
shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). How did Satan twist this truth? Satan added one word to
God's to change the whole warning. Notice: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall
not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). The word Satan added was “not”. Isn’t it amazing how such a
small word can change truth into error? What does that show us? One word added or removed
from what God says can cause destruction.
One of the words we often see added to the Scriptures is the word “only”. The Scriptures
teach that we are saved by faith (I Peter 1:9). However, many add the word “alone” to this point
of truth. Notice: “Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we might gain eternal life. It is through
Faith Alone that we are forgiven. It is not through anything we do, but is a gift of God” (http:
//www.faith-alone.com/theo.html). People often pervert Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1, Ephesians
2:8-9, and other passages to argue the “faith alone” doctrine. Sadly, they have not searched
their Bibles very well. The only time we see the words “faith” and “alone” in the same verse
actually denies the doctrine people use the phrase to teach. Notice what God says about “faith
alone”: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17).
We also see the phrase “faith only” tossed around often. For example: “We are accounted
righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not
for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most
wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of
Justification” (Thirty-nine Articles of Religion; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Nine_Articles).
What do you think we would find if we searched the Bible to see this phrase? We do not find
that we are saved by “faith only”. We find the exact opposite in the ONLY verse in which this
phrase appears in all of inspiration: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not
by faith only” (James 2:24).
Salvation by “grace alone” or “grace only” (http://www.the-highway.com/grace_Pilgrim.html)
is a popular false doctrine as well. The truth is, we are saved by grace (Acts 15:11 and
Ephesians 2:5). However, the phrase “grace alone” or “grace only” does not appear anywhere
in the Scriptures. The truth is, we are saved by more than grace according to the Scriptures
(Mark 13:13, Mark 16:15-16, John 5:34, John 10:9, Acts 2:21, Acts 2:47, Acts 4:10-12, Romans
1:16, Romans 8:24, Romans 10:10, I Corinthians 1:18, I Corinthians 5:4-5, I Corinthians 15:1-2,
II Corinthians 7:10, and I Peter 3:20-21).
Bible perversions (like the Revised Standard Version) have changed vital terms to pervert
God’s word. For example, this perversion of God’s word removes the term “virgin” from Isaiah 7:
14 and has “young woman” instead. This is to distract from God’s plan to have Jesus born of a
virgin, as the prophesy was truly intended to read and was fulfilled as such (Matthew 1:18-25).
Slight changes such as the term “fornication” translated as “sexual immorality” in the New King
James Version (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) have led some to teach various errors on divorce and
remarriage (including pornography as terms for “scriptural divorce”). Brethren, these slight
changes are perversions of what God has really said and very well can lead to souls being lost.
However, it is not just changed verses that add words, but implied ideologies as well.
Sometimes it seems our brethren have taken an implied salvation by baptism only view.
Instead of an emphasis on all that God has said (Joshua 1:6-8 and James 2:10), some make
their emphasis on baptism. “Invitations” stress “five steps” to salvation but nothing for
continued faithfulness (Colossians 1:23). Brethren, let us be sure that we do not add an idea of
“only” to any subject of God’s will!
It is too easy to become careless and pervert God’s word. We must be diligent in assuring
that we rightly divide the word of God (II Timothy 2:14-18). It is easy to see the errors of others,
but let’s be sure we start with our faces in the mirror rather than someone else’s face.
Changing one word or point of God’s word is just as damning to your soul as it is to the soul of a
denominationalist (Galatians 1:6-12).
|Volume IX ~ Issue VIII ~ November 16th, 2008
|Edited by: Brian A. Yeager
|Just Changing One Word
By: Brian A. Yeager
|Just One Word Can Change The Truth Into A Lie
|Is Baptism or the Five Steps An “Only”?