Adding & Subtracting To The Teaching Of Christ
August 18, 2016
If we who claim to follow Jesus choose to keep saturating ourselves in the philosophies of men even while they contradict God’s Word, then we will veer far off the path of Truth. We will become so confused, so blinded, that we will not only cease from growing in the knowledge of the Truth, but we will actually slide backwards. Yes, those who are overtaken by falsehoods will incur upon themselves an ever-increasingly strong delusion so that, in the end, aside from a miracle that enables them to repent, they will be condemned. (2 Thes. 2:10-12)
Numerous Scripture verses warn us that the Truth –the true Gospel– is what we must adhere to in order to be saved. (John 8:31-36 // 1 Cor. 15:1,2 // 1 Tim. 4:16 // etc.) Gal. 1:6-9 says this emphatically, warning that those who desert the Truth by turning to a false gospel thereby have no Gospel at all. Teachers who teach false gospels will be, it says, eternally condemned. Of course all who refuse to repent of sin and false gospels will perish, but it is alarming to think of the extra-horrific punishment that awaits those who have not only rejected the Truth themselves, but have also persuaded others to do so. (Luke 17:1,2 // Rom. 16:17,18 // Ja. 3:1)
2 John 1:7-11 warns us to not lose what we have worked for by listening to deceivers who add or subtract to the teaching of Christ, particularly in disavowing the Messiah as coming in the flesh. For the teaching of Christ does not involve only faith, repentance, and how to walk in the will of God, but it includes all the doctrine (truths / Truth) concerning Christ found in both Old and New Testaments regarding both His first coming and His second coming. This is the Gospel, the Good News, the Message that declares what our Lord came to earth (in the flesh) to do the first time (Rom. 5:10 // 1 Cor. 15:21 // 1 John 3:5,8) and what He is coming back (in the flesh) to do the second time. (Isa. 11:6-9 // Mt. 19:28 // Acts 3:21 // Rom. 8:18-25 // 2 Pe. 3:13 // Rev. ch. 20-22) If someone does not grasp this Gospel, then that person has missed the centrality of the whole Word of God. If they remain stiff-necked about believing what God’s Word states concerning our Savior and soon-coming King, and go on adding what isn’t there and taking away what is, doing so through their reinterpretations, then such a person should not be viewed as a legitimate Bible teacher but instead as one whose work is wicked, void of God, and antichrist. (2 John 1:7-11 again // 1 Tim. 1:6,7)
Pr. 30:5 tells us that every word of God is flawless and verse 6 warns, “Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Rev. 22:18,19, as well, warn that those who add or subtract from the prophecies in that book will incur plagues and will not share in the Tree of Life nor in the Holy City. Truly, the whole Word of God warns that both righteous conduct and correct doctrine are essential for salvation.