"TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU"
Bible Reading: Matthew 24:1-27
I have chosen my theme, "Take heed that no man deceive you", after prayer, because of a deep conviction that there is a very great danger of many believers having a false sense of security, of being careless. The things we read, the things we believe and the things we hear are very important. They have a tremendous effect on us. So it is a great danger in which each one of us dwells, as we shall see.
One thing that greatly concerned me was how far has gone the professing believerís false security. Iím told that down in the United States there are numbers of professing Christians quite ready to take the mark of the beast because they said: "we are saved and therefore nothing can harm us".
Now this is a delusion of the evil one! If anyone takes that mark willingly they are lost. And to claim that they are believers and safe from that thing is very much like the Nicolaitan doctrine. It stated that believers could sin any way they wanted and it wouldnít hurt them because it was only the flesh that sinned and not the soul. But my Bible says: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; (thatís the iniquity of the soul) who healeth all thy diseases" (thatís the diseases of the soul). Psalm 103:2-3
And so we see, multitudes are being deceived today.
Iím going to make a suggestion, and itís this - that if we as professing Christians are not constantly and carefully on guard as to what we hear and what we believe, we are already horribly deceived in matters of supreme importance! And this is so. We need to be careful, we must be careful, because our Lord told us to:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you." Matthew 24:4
Now in Revelation we have a description of Satan as the accuser of the Brethren.
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And i heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."Revelation 12:9-10
May none of us work for him. May we have our hearts and minds free from that evil influence which is deceiving multitudes today - and many of them professing Christians.
For the subject letís go back to our first mother Eve, shall we, in the garden of Eden, where deceitfulness started in our little universe - at least in our Earth. And there we read - you all know the story well - of Eve being seduced by the evil one and believing a lie. And when the Lord demands an accounting, Adam and Eve hide themselves of course.
"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat". Genesis 3:8-13
You all know the story. "The serpent beguiled me". And so sin entered the human race.
"I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." ITimothy 2:8-14
Adam was not deceived. He was in rebellion. Eve was not deliberately in rebellion against God, she was deceived. Satan had made it sound attractive to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life and she was deceived. So from our first mother we inherit a tendency to be deceived rather easily. From our first father on earth we inherit a tendency to be rebellious. And we have to beware of these two things.
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." ISamuel 15:23
Before a Christian brother or sister becomes rebellious they are deceived by the devil. I want that clearly understood. Itís the work of Satan to make us rebellious in the home, or in the assembly, or in the nation! This is the work of the great adversary who deceiveth the whole world.
And this deceit first took place in the garden of Eden. It was so beautiful there with the flowers and the fruit trees and all sorts of marvelous things. God had created a lovely garden such as this world has never seen. I have been in those special gardens they call the Hugh Gardens down in the United States and they are beautiful beyond description. But I rather think Eden dwarfed them. There are some beautiful gardens today but nothing like when God himself planted and caused everything to grow.
The devil sowed the seeds of sin there that would bring into the world the limitless sins of humanity. Because of that deception something is very necessary. We are born with a nature that sins, that is sinful, that is liable to be rebellious and liable to be easily deceived. So a miracle of Godís grace is necessary.
"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him". John 3:1-2
And our Lord Jesus starts where all Bible teaching should begin - with the new birth. He tells him:"Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."John 3:3
We must make absolutely sure we have a soul-saving faith thatís made a new man or a new woman within us.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith". IICorinthians 13:5
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:"IIPeter 1:10
"Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."IICorinthians 5:17
Not should become, but they have become new.
To continue in verse 4: "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his motherís womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:4
The flesh cannot produce anything thatís good in itself. Said the Apostle Paul: "I know that in me, (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."Romans 7:18
Itís in the Spirit that God works and moves and not in the flesh. And so we must be born again.
I am going to take three outstanding men, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Of them God was pleased to say, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob".Exodus 3:6
Over and over again in the Old and the New Testament we find these words. Now surely these tremendous men whom God honours like that could not be deceived. Surely? Yes they could.
You know, it grieves me somewhat to hear very sincere people saying - "is it possible that all these men that use the new Versions are utterly deceived?" Itís not only possible but itís certain that they are. Absolutely certain! The new Versions are erroneous, filled with error, diabolically corrupted and depraved things! And if these men and women that I hope to bring before you now - of such great stature - should be easily deceived by the devil, so anyone you know or love or admire, no matter who it is, can be deceived. And we have a responsibility when we know the issue to declare it in order to help and save our brethren.
Abraham had a lot of titles, one was the "friend of God" - James 2:23. He was "the father of many nations" - Genesis 17:5 and Romans 4:17. He was "the heir of the world"- Romans 4:13. My what titles he had! His seed was to be "as the stars of heaven" - Genesis 22:17. "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" - Genesis 22:18. What a man! Paul says he is "the father of us all" - Romans 4:16.
The father of the faithful. What a man! Could he be deceived? Surely he could not be deceived! And yet he was. Weíll have a look in Genesis 16 and see how Abraham was deceived, great man though he was. There was none greater, in my estimation, that trod the face of the earth. And yet, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life come in and Godís man is deceived."Now Sarai Abramís wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid: it may be that I may obtain children by her. And, Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." Genesis 16:1-2
Letís remember that Abram had had the promise, that he would have this seed, a son of his own, for ten years. And God had not fulfilled the promise yet. He was 75 years of age when he came into the land of Canaan. He was 85 years old when this plan was proposed by Sarai. And 86 six years old when the child Ishmael was born of Hagar. And so, "Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." Now, he should have said, "Well Godís made a promise. He said from your own loins will come that one, that child." But no, he "hearkened to the voice of Sarai."
"And Sarai Abramís wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face." Genesis 16:3-6
And so she was sent away. The departure, family troubles and everything like that entered on account of this precious man of God, who was deceived.
"And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his sonís name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael."Genesis 16:15
From that liason came the Arab nation, the enemies of Israel. Rivers of blood have flowed in the world from that time.
Abram had a great heartache over this later on. He loved Ishmael, and yet he had to send him away.
"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." Genesis 21:9-10
And as I say, ten years had passed since Godís promise of a son when Sarai gave Hagar to Abram and Abram was deceived.
Well, what about Isaac? Yes, itís true, he was deceived. In Genesis 27 we find this man of God, - "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob". He was elderly at this time, his eye-sight was not good. Food had perhaps become rather more important than it should have been with him. He had a great fondness for venison.
"And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it." Genesis 27:1-5
Actually, the Word "heard" in the Hebrew is "shama" and means listening. She was eavesdropping! She was listening in on this conversation. Perhaps she had a good idea what it was going to be all about.
"And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing."Genesis 27:6-12
It didnít appear that Jacob was so horrified at the thought of lying to his father, but he didnít want to seem to be a deceiver. Are many other people like that? They might be willing to make some monetary gain in a not quite proper way, and yet they wouldnít want to seem to be a deceiver, or a cheat or anything like that.
Oh, the flesh was working here and yet Jacob became a man of whom God used to say "I am the God of Jacob". God made a man of God out of him. But he was deceived thoroughly. We all know the story of how Jacob came in with his mother, having put the goats hair on his neck and the back of his hands. And his father said:
"Who art thou my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn;"Genesis 27:18-19His voice didnít sound like Esau but oh yes, he felt like Esau. You see, Isaacís natural appetite was working overtime and he wanted to eat the venison. And so he eats goat stew instead of venison but he canít tell the difference.
Thereís something wrong. Heís being deceived by his own son. But the Bible says: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7
We know that as soon as Jacob had gone out with the blessing he obtained by deceitfulness, in came his brother Esau with the genuine venison. And his father was amazed and said:
"Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him?"Genesis 27:33
When he realized who it was he said, "Yea, and he shall be blessed".
The New Testament says - "by faith Isaac blessed Jacob." But at the time when he actually blessed him there wasnít any faith in it at all. He was lied to. He was deceived. But when he realized what had happened he knew that Godís purpose had been accomplished. By faith he knew it. "Yea, and he shall be blessed". And we must keep in mind these scriptures. Otherwise people can accuse us of the scriptures contradicting themselves. They do not! They are absolutely perfect in every respect, and itís good to know that. "Yea, and he shall be blessed."
And so, consequently, Jacob has to depart in a hurry because Esau swore to kill him.
"And Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob."Genesis 27:41
So he left. He took off and went to Laban, who was his motherís brother. There he saw this lovely girl, Rachel, at the well with her fatherís sheep and flocks. There were men there but they couldnít move the great big stone off the wellís mouth. Jacob said:"Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should begathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the wellís mouth; then we water the sheep."Genesis 29:7-8
But this husky young fellow looked at Rachel, he looked at the flocks and everything like that and he just moved that stone for her, and watered the flock.
"And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his motherís brother, and the sheep of Laban his motherís brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the wellís mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his motherís brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept."Genesis 29:10-11
And she ran and told her dad, and he said to bring the man in. And you all know the wonderful story. But he was cheated ten times. He went to work for Laban and he said: "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter."Genesis 29:18
He loved her so much that seven years went by like the blink of an eye. And that night at the wedding feast the father brought the elder daughter, Leah, to be his wife. And Jacob knew nothing about it until the morning. And oh what a disappointed man he was!
You see, there is a harvest. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap".Galatians 6:7
He deceived his father at the instigation of his mother. He pretended to be the older brother and deceived his father with goat stew. Now he reaps what he sows and he doesnít like the taste of it. The older daughter, at the instigation of her father, pretends to be the younger daughter, and Jacob wakes up in the morning to this girl who was not the one he thought he was marrying at all. So he had to work another seven years for Rachel, and so forth. It went on and on.
All three of these great men of God, (for they turned out to be that way eventually) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were deceived. Our first mother was deceived. Our first father was rebellious against Godís will knowing full well what he did.
Joshua, also, was deceived. That man of God. A great type of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The one that God used to bring the children of Israel into the promised land. But he was deceived. We find that in Joshua 9.
"And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;"Joshua 9:1
Now these nations were descendants of Cain. Cain was of that wicked one the devil, the Bible tells us. And God had demanded that the Canaanites be exterminated. They had a society just like we have today where homosexuality and lesbianism and intercourse with animals was the order of the day. And thatís exactly whatís recommended to our boys and girls in those two monstrous books, diabolically inspired, "Boys and Sex" and "Girls and Sex", which are in the school libraries. In these books they recommend intercourse with animals. Both for the boys and for the girls. They say that animals are perfectly safe to our young ladies. They cannot conceive by an animal. Can you imagine the teenage girls hearing words like that! Thatís what is in those books. Iíve seen them with my own eyes. They were taken out of the libraries for a little while but certain monstrous men got them back in with the cooperation of the local press. They voted very strongly for that.
"Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."Leviticus 18:23-25
Here then are the Canaanites. The land vomited out itís inhabitants. And the Bible tells us it was on account of the very things that are being promoted in the United States and Canada today. Those very immoral acts of the perversion of the love instinct."That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him from a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD." Joshua 9:2-14
Joshua is deceived! And what trouble they got into, I want to tell you! When the other kings heard that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel they moved up to attack them right away. Weíll destroy this people! And the Gibeonites sent to Joshua and said, Hey, youíve got a league with us, come and help us! And Israel had to go and fight to defend the lives of the people that God had told them to exterminate. But theyíd sworn before the Lord and the Lord accepted that. He punished King Saul for trying to destroy the Gibeonites later on. He punished him terribly for that sin. And so we have to be careful. They were a hundred percent lies that the Gibeonites had told Joshua, the man of God! A great man of God. And yet, he was deceived.
Now, Iím no great man of God but I want to tell you something. A couple of years ago I got a phone call and the lady said, Would you help me? I understand you do marriage counseling. I said, Well, whatever I can do I would be pleased to. What is your name? She gave me a name. I said, Iíll meet you at the Chapel. So I met her at the door and I said, Hello Mrs. so-and-so. She said, Thatís not my name. Itís not, I said, you told me it was. I know, she said, but I thought perhaps if I told you my real name you wouldnít help me. So she told me Iíd met her about 26 years ago at a great Bible Institute where her husband was in distress and she was in distress. But heíd died. She was feeling very guilty and very much in need. So she sat here and time and again I came and counseled her in the afternoon for a couple of hours. She knew the scriptures very well. Iíd start to quote a scripture and sheíd finish it very nicely and very quietly. Her husband was dead and she wanted to clear his name. Sheíd accused him of something which I wonít mention here. Sheíd accused him of something wrong, very wrong, in their relationship as husband and wife. And therefore she wanted to clear his name at the Bible School where they both had been. Sheíd made the accusation there. She said, It was a lie. I lied. Well, I did my best to help her. But there was something about it that troubled me. One day I phoned her to report that I had contacted the Bible School. That Iíd talked to the top men in it about the whole issue and that Iíd received a letter from an important person there. And do you know what she said? My husband will talk to you! A man that was dead came on the phone. I was shocked beyond description! Iíd believed every Word sheíd said. I thought, Lord, how could I believe a total lie and be deceived like that?
Beloved you can be deceived. And I can be deceived. This - "take heed that no man deceive you" - is what the Saviour said. Beloved, be very, very, very careful that you: "take heed what ye hear", as the Lord said in Mark 4:24. It profoundly affects you, the things that you hear, and the things that you say and that others say.
And then we have David in IISamuel11. The lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh. Deceived by a woman bathing herself in a very immodest situation with her window open or her curtains not drawn or something like that. Her name was Bathsheba. And the man after Godís own heart - for God said: "I have found a man after my own heart"- became an adulterer and a murder. Deceived! None of us is so strong that we can afford to be careless about what we believe or what we do or what we say or what we trust. There are all kinds of liars in the world today. And false spirits. Demons, speaking for the devil. He deceiveth the whole world the Bible says.
And David, the man of God, becomes in a very real sense a vile sinner. He wrote Psalm 51 after going in unto Bathsheba.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me". "Take not thy holy spirit from me". Psalm 51:10He just cried unto God. God granted a tremendous repentance to him. But four of his family died. He was deceived also by Absolom. And for a long time after that he was on the run as Absolom, his son, raised up to kill him. Then his counselor, and friend Ahithophel, whom he trusted deceived him. He wrote Psalm 41 about that.
"Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me."Psalm 41:9
When the Lord quotes that scripture about himself he leaves out "in whom I trusted". Itís very interesting, isnít it, because he didnít trust Judas. He knew from the very beginning who he was and what he was. Even when he called him to be a follower. He knew. And so he was not deceived. But David was.
Ahithophel counseled Absolom. He told him to spread a tent, take his fatherís concubines, and in the sight of all Israel to go into that tent and defile those women. And he did. And then Ahithophel told him to give him men, as he knew where his father was and he would go out and kill him right away. But David had prayed that God would confound the wisdom of Ahithophel. Ahithophel was a very wise man, but a very foolish man too.
Do you know why I think he turned on David and hated him so much? And why he said to defile his concubines there and to give him the men and heíd kill him. I believe it was this - Ahithophel was Bathsheba grandfather! Iíve checked it out carefully in the genealogies and thatís who he was. I guess as a grandfather heíd hated what had been done to his lovely granddaughter. Even though her modesty was just as much to blame for the thing as the response of David when he was overthrown completely by the powers of evil. No one can afford to ignore what our Lord said, "Take heed that no man deceive you". Beloved you cannot. If youíre not being careful, youíre already deceived in some of the most important things in life. If you donít take real care - what you hear, what you say, what you do! - believe me it can happen.
PETER AND BARNABAS
Hereís Peter and Barnabas. Apostles. Miracle workers. Filled with the Holy Spirit. Surely these men then will not be deceived. They were surely men of God in the New Testament. The others were all Old Testament. Could it be? The one had raised the dead, and both were filled with the Holy Spirit and doing miracles.
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation."Galatians 2:11
Dissimulation - that is a fancy Word for hypocrisy. They fell into hypocrisy, these Godly men. They were deceived by Jewish religious leaders there.
" But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor". Galatians 2:14-18
Would you please keep that in your mind, thatís very, very important. If we build again the things that we have destroyed we become transgressors.
"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."Galatians 2:19
Then that wonderful statement : "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:
And so these two men were deceived.
The brother or sister in the most dangerous condition is the one who thinks supremely, "I have no need to take care. I couldnít be deceived." That person is deceived already. Already deceived!
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."Romans 16:17-18You find this type circulating in all Christian gatherings. You get them occasionally. Weíve had some here and "they lie in wait to deceive". They are deliberately putting forth something contrary to scripture. Contrary to that which is right in the sight of God. And these "lie in wait to deceive". They cover up their actual feelings. On the surface - when they feel like it - they are so nice and everything like that, but they really are full of hatred. And they know it! It shows eventually. We find that in Proverbs:"Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin."Proverbs 26:26-28
That hidden animosity breaks out and the result is terrible.
Itís going to surprise you who can deceive you now. Youíd never believe it. But weíre going to find out that itís possible to deceive ourselves.
"For if a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Galatians 6:3.
Isnít that an amazing thing? "Take heed that ye be not deceived". If Satan can puff us up and make us think weíre something, we deceive ourselves! And thatís the actual Word that Youngís concordance gives in Genesis 3:13 for "beguiled" ,when Eve says, "The serpent beguiled me" - The serpent puffed me up. Thatís one of the meanings of the Word.
When "a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." And this is why Paul said: "For in nothing am I behind the very chiefest of apostles, though I be nothing." IICorinthians 12:11
Thatís a good attitude beloved. If we will consider ourselves that way in our own thinking - not just outwardly, but inwardly - weíll reckon ourselves to be nothing. If Paul the Apostle could take that position, with all that he suffered for Christís sake and with all the love he had for the souls of men and women and to those to whom he served, what position are we going to take?.
There are false teachers in Ephesians 4
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" Ephesians 4:14.
Well, thatís what Westcott and Hort said: "There are spiritual forces working on orthodox men and women that theyíre not aware of to bring them out of there orthodoxy and into a position of error and bitterness and heresy."
That was in "The Life of Westcott and Hort". And the damage theyíve done pervades the world today with the new Versions. In my estimation, Iíve rightly called them - and no oneís challenged it - the fathers of the new Version movement. Insofar far as recent years are concerned as they are not the originators of these mutilated scriptures.
"They lie in wait to deceive."
Donít be carried about with every wind of doctrine. Thereís all kinds of them floating around today. Examples arrive at my desk so very often, and I have to analyze them to see how to deal with them.
"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."Ephesians 5: 3- 6.
And there you have the great denominations today. They have become abominations! Filled with groups of known homosexuals and lesbians operating in the churches. And some of them being ordained and things like that. Let no man deceive you! These are deceived by the devil! And this "religion" is being forced on humanity today in terrible ways.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." ITimothy 4:1-5
Some of these would be the "spirit guides" of the "New Age". They are doctrines of devils! They say: "Kill the Christians. The Bible believers who will not conform must die."!
I would finish with this. In Revelations 20 the devilís put in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. That he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand year reign of Christ, the millennial reign, is over. Then heís released for a little while and leads a great attack on Jerusalem with the revived "New Age" armies. And they are all destroyed there! And the devil that deceived them is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet already are. And the terrible thing which with I finish this little lesson is found in Revelations 20.
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelations 20:14.
Beloved, youíve got friends and relatives, and so have I. I want to tell you that those with whom you associate, if theyíre out of Christ, are going to the lake of fire. Eternal ages, endless ages, of burning and anguish and weeping and gnashing of teeth forever! I suggest every believer should be a soul winner. We should be trying to win someone to Christ all the time. Should we not? If we dare to call ourselves followers of the Lord Jesus Christ then we should pray: "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise".
We should pray one for another that we may be given grace from God to speak the Word of God boldly. And yet, with humility of heart.
WESCOTT AND HORT
In the light of the foregoing let us now consider an investigation into one of the devilís greatest tools of deception. I refer my readers to the diabolical attack on the unsurpassed supremacy of that which is commonly called the King James Version.
We find references to the baneful work of these early corrupters and mutilators in the writings of a number of the Church fathers. Repeatedly the heretics are named and charged with corrupting the Scriptures in order to give credence to their erroneous teachings. Gauss, writing before the end of the 2nd century AD, accuses the heretics of audaciously corrupting the Scriptures under the guise of correcting them. Does this sound familiar? If it does not just read the introductions to a few of the modern versions of the Bible and then check their contents.
-------------Scrivener who powerfully opposed Westcott and Hort regarding many of their changes in the revision of 1881 wrote: "The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected originated within a hundred years after it was composed".
Many consider the evidence for the above statement to be incontestable. Granted that this is the case, it follows that no one has the right to assume that because a manuscript is very old it is therefore very accurate. Professor Millar Boroughs confesses that a mediaeval manuscript could be far more accurate than one of the very early Church Age.
What do we know about that handful of ancient manuscripts which are erroneously referred to as "the oldest and best" manuscripts? Upon their vaunted and unearned authority our Authorized King James Bible>has been criticized, revised and slandered. Many precious portions of the Word have been challenged or eliminated altogether. It is quite true that scholars are in possession of readings from very ancient manuscripts which radically differ from those from which we get the Received Text, or the Textus Receptus, which is the basic text of our unexcelled King James Version. Modern translators make much of the fact that this is so. But the average Bible reader or Bible School student is not told that this little group of ancient manuscripts not only differ with the Received Text ,or Majority Text, but they radically differ among themselves. This greatly weakens the strength of their testimony against the Received Text.
As previously stated, we are dealing principally with the two main pillars upon which the new version movement rests its cause. That is, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. These two ancient and strongly differing manuscripts basically form the rather insecure foundation upon which rest the vast majority of all the modern versions of the Scripture. That which the Bible rejects as being no true witness is being given an almost superstitious reverence by modern translators. The result is a bewildering maze of modern versions, which differ not only from the true Word of God, but differ from one another almost as much as the texts to which they owe their existence. It is doubtful if any of the new versions exhibits the mutilated character of its parental Greek text more than that which is known as the New American Standard Version. It well could be that, when its deficiencies are fully revealed, and the import of its numerous omissions understood, the verdict of history upon this version and its anonymous translators will be, "the Great Mutilation" and "the Great Mutilators."
It is only right to mention here that, although the translators of the New American Standard Version are accountable to God for the terrible travesty that they have produced, they are not the ones originally responsible for the mutilations and corruptions that are found in it. It is quite possible that numbered among them are some who are sincere believers in the Lord Jesus. Theirís is the awesome error of accepting a corrupted text and translating it as if it were truly the Word of God.
In order to understand the situation that exists today, it is necessary to see how translators manipulate the evidence of the manuscripts to bring the versions in line with their own erroneous thinking. A few examples may be sufficient to illustrate the point that I have in mind. Also, it should be said that all my readings and quotations will be taken from theNew American Standard Version New Testament of 1963. It is quite possible that under the pressure of the scandalous errors that have been manifested, more recent versions may have changed some of these passages in order to cover up some of its most flagrant deficiencies.
By way of illustration I would refer my reader to Matthew 13. Here we read the words of our Lord Jesus Christ saying: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." Matthew 13:35
Now what the New American Standard version and other new versions do not mention in the margin of their Bible is that here is a tremendous error, or faux-pas, committed by the scribe of Sinaiticus. This manuscript is one of the idols of the new translators. And what they fail to mention is that Sinaiticus reads that this was spoken by the prophet Isaiah. Now, beloved, you may search Isaiah from chapter 1 to chapter 66 and you will not find such a thing recorded. Actually, our Lordís great quotation comes from Psalm 78:2. We search in vain in the New American Standard Version for a marginal note to the effect that one of the "oldest and best" manuscripts reads Isaiah in this verse. Did the translators not know? Or did they not want their readers to know? It would appear that either ignorance or deception prevailed at this point. At the very best, a version which abounds in marginal notes from the most obscure and unreliable manuscripts, did not see fit to inform its readers of the faux-pas found in their highly exalted Sinaiticus. The New American Standard Version avoids this pitfall by means of forsaking one of its idols, Sinaiticus. And so it escapes, and has an appearance of respectability.
But the great company of translators of the New English Bible were not so fortunate. These scholars, who represented most of the great old-line Churches of Britain and the British and Foreign Bible Society as well as the National Bible Society of Scotland, following the wil-o-the-wisp authority of Sinaiticus, end up in an inglorious heap at the bottom of the pit, attributing our Lordís great quotation of Psalm 78:2 to the prophet Isaiah, as follows:
"In all this teaching to the crowds Jesus spoke in parables, in fact he never spoke of them without a parable: this was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things kept secret since the world was made." Matthew 13:35
At this point, so far as all the other versions that Iíve been able to investigate, Sinaiticus is in disgrace and rejection with the translators. They virtually all seem to be having a love affair with Vaticanus so far as Matthew 13:34-35 is concerned.
When we come to Luke 23 a gigantic switch of affection takes place. For Vaticanus utterly omits that great prayer of our Lord Jesus: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do".
I wonder if their consciences did not prick them a little as these distinguished evangelical scholars, forgetting their honeymoon with Vaticanus, utterly forsake her and cleave now to the formally rejected Sinaiticus, which does contain the prayer? A marginal notein Sinaiticus informs us: "Some manuscripts omit that prayer".
But the awesome secret that the "oldest and best" Vaticanus completely ignores these precious and wonderful words of our Lord Jesus is not revealed to us. But now we know!
In the case of John 21:25 we find that the venerable Sinaiticus, so much sought after by the scholars in translating Luke 23:34, is now forsaken, for the time being, because of the inexcusable fact that it alone, among all manuscripts, omits the last verse of Johnís Gospel.
To use a different figure: scholars, who rush to one side of the boat in a frantic search for Sinaiticus in Luke 23:34, now almost topple their boat of scholarship by rushing to the other side and reaching out eager hands for Vaticanus, which in this case preserves the proper ending to Johnís Gospel. Once again the version under examination here, the NASV, does not give us an inkling of the fact that their famous Sinaiticus, although counted with the "oldest and best", stands alone in its omission. Why is this so? We shall see as we press our investigation a little further.
When we consider Luke 22:43-44, which describes for us the Saviourís agony and blood-like sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, the scholars find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Sinaiticus properly admits this wondrous revelation into its text. But Vaticanus ignores it entirely. Once again, the translators are forced to choose between their two idols. This time, so far as the New American Standard Version is concerned, Sinaiticus wins the argument between the two "oldest and best" manuscripts. The marginal note admits: "Some ancient manuscripts omit verses 43-44".
The cover-up that was granted to Sinaiticus in regard to John 21:25, is now hastily extended to Vaticanus to cover-up its fatal omission of the record of our Lordís agony and blood-like sweat. But why?In John 19:34 we have the heart-touching incident of the piercing of our Redeemerís side after the soldiers ascertained that he was dead. Here the two "oldest and best" manuscripts conspire to remove this deeply instructive record, and by a monstrous perversion, in defiance of science and reason as well as authority, they insert it in Matthew 27 at the end of verse 49. This switch-over makes the record to show our Lord Jesus pierced while still living.
How does the New American Standard Version react to this monstrous error in the two "oldest and best" manuscripts? At this point they abandon both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus and insert the wondrous record where it belongs. Then this version which specializes in useless and harmful marginal notes fails utterly to warn its readers that those two ,which are thought to be the "oldest and best" manuscripts, do not contain the record at this point. With bated breath we turn to Matthew 27:49 to see what the scholars have done with their problem. In the 1963 edition of the New Testament we find the missing verse, not in the text, but in the margin with a note to the effect that: "Some early manuscripts add".
Mysteriously they fail to mention that it is their beloved Vaticanus and Sinaiticus that have added the verse at this point. Why is the reader kept in ignorance of this vital information? Did the scholars not know or did they not want us to know? But now, we do know!
In John 1:18 the New American Standard Version remains loyal to the corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus and follow them in their disastrous and heretical blunder. Instead of: "the only begotten son",as in the true Bible, they have: "the only begotten God".
Thus giving a rendering which is the official teaching of the Rutherford group, which is commonly known as the Jehovahís Witnesses. Namely that our Lord is a god, and they use a small "g" there, begotten or created sometime before Genesis 1:1. Unitarians also will rejoice at this rendering. In this heresy the New American Standard Version is solidly identified with the Jehovahís Witnesses New World Translation, except for the fact that the NASV has a capital "G" for God. A dubious and doubtful distinction indeed.
Interestingly, the scholars who are responsible for the following corrupted versions: Dewey Reams, Berkeley, Williams, Living Letters, Good News For Modern Man and even the New English Bible, utterly reject Vaticanus and Sinaiticus at this juncture. It is an interesting fact to note that the translators of the new versions must, on numerous occasions, utterly reject Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, which are really the basis for their existence as new version translators. Starting with the English Revised Version and its American cousin, the American Standard Version of 1901, followed by the Revised Version of 1952, we find that, although not one of these notable aberrations dared to include this reading in their text, each of them carry a marginal note or footnote indicating that: "There are ancient authorities which read "God" or "God, only begotten".
So far as the modern revisions are concerned we trace this foul stream of evil doctrine to its source in the Revised Version of 1881, which was largely the product of the secret plans of the Drs. Westcott and Hort, and their Greek text which as we have seen is based principally on Vaticanus and a few other ancient manuscripts. Not one of the versions indicate to us in any way that these two old manuscripts, to which superstitious reverence is attached by so many, are responsible for the corruption. Did they not know? Or do they not want the Christian reader to know? But now, we do know!
The Amplified Version sides with the so-called Jehovahís Witness Version and the New American Standard Version in this rendering of John 1:18. It reads: "the only unique son, the only begotten God".By means of this rendering the unwary Christian is satisfied as he reads: "the only unique son". And the Unitarian is delighted when he reads: "the only begotten God". So also is the so-called Jehovahís Witness as this suits their erroneous teachings perfectly. A footnote in the Amplified Version reads concerning: "the only begotten God": "supported by a great mass of ancient evidence - Vincent".
Perhaps someone will tell the bewildered Bible student why this "great mass of ancient evidence" is rejected utterly by the scholars who are responsible for such a huge majority of the modern corrupted versions, and yet accepted by a few of the representatives of scholarly opinion. Now we must ask again the question - why this great cover-up for the errors, corruptions and omissions of the two "oldest and best" manuscripts? Undoubtedly, it is to maintain a false authority, attributed to them by Doctors Westcott and Hort, and those who follow in their train, in order that the positively weird thinking and theology of these learned men might be propagated through the two great manuscripts. Which, possibly, are the ones responsible for the exceedingly strange philosophy, or rather theology, of these men.
I should mention that the New American Standard Version is by no means alone in the practice of this deceit and duplicity. The great deception of modern versions is not so much what the scholars say in their marginal notes, though that is bad enough, but rather, that which they do not say, concerning things that honesty demands for the record.
We can easily trace the pernicious effects of the fatal philosophy and theology of Westcott and Hort as we examinethe disaster of the version that we now have under consideration. The evil influence of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus may be found in almost every modern version of the Scripture. Let us keep in mind that the modern versions not only disagree with the King James Version, but they radically differ, one from another. Can this really be the very Word of God, inspired by the Holy Ghost? Or did Westcott and Hort err fatally?
We have previously referred to the question of the last 12 verses of Markís gospel. The scholars responsible for the New American Standard Version, and many others, incidentally, ought to have included a footnote to let us know that verses from the disputed section of Mark were being quoted by many of the Church Fathers, at least 150-200 years before either Vaticanus or Sinaiticus were written. Why did they not do so? To have spoken the truth here would clearly reveal the fact that at this point the King James Version transmits to us a Biblical text which was in use approximately 200 years before the contradictory manuscripts were in existence. This would not only greatly enhance the convictions of multitudes concerning the superiority of the King James Version, but would also greatly lessen the confidence of Bible students in the New American Standard Version basic manuscripts. This also would have afforded a very undesirable insight into the mutilated nature of the version that is being pressed upon the public as the best for serious students. Consequently this annoying fact is treated as if it never existed. However, truth has a way of springing up out of the ground when it has been trampled underfoot.
"Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven."Psalm 85:11.
Well spoke the great John Burgon who did masterly work in manuscript research: "Ought it not sensibly to detract from our opinion of the value of their evidence, (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), to discover that it is easier to find two consecutive verses in which the two manuscripts differ, the one from the other, than two consecutive verses in which they entirely agree? But the character of two witness who habitually contradict one another has been accounted in every age precarious. On every such occasion only one of them can be possibly speaking the truth. Shall I then be thought unreasonable if I confess that these perpetual inconsistencies between Codex B, (thatís Vaticanus), and Aleph, (Sinaiticus), grew of inconsistencies, and occasionally gross ones, altogether destroy my confidence in either."
One of the great calamities of our day is that this version and many others like it, which owe their existence largely to the two "oldest manuscripts", are being presented in so many of out Bible Schools and Seminaries to our eager young men and women as the version for serious students. And they are accepting this lie. Would it be going to far to state that serious Bible students, and their Bible teachers also, should give serious consideration to the facts here recorded before continuing on the broad road of the new versions, which leads to apostasy? That each advocate of the new mutilated versions pause and, carefully and prayerfully consider the responsibility, that he or she has to answer to the Most High God for their individual part in helping forward the great Satanic move to mutilate the Word of God. The accounting day may be closer than anyone thinks.
To illustrate the principal of mutilation by marginal suggestion and bracketing, please note that in the version that we are now considering, Matthew 17:21 is in brackets: "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
These brackets imply a doubt as to the validity of its testimony. A marginal note assures us that most ancient manuscripts omit this verse. We might well inquire which of the ancient manuscripts omit it. And why do they do so? The verse under fire here proves to be a God-given key for the deliverance of souls from Satanic oppression, through prayer and fasting. The devil would be greatly advantaged in his warfare against humanity if this key to Godís great delivering power was generally doubted by the Church.
Bracketing in Matthew 6:13 casts doubt upon a beautiful doxology with which the Lordís prayer concludes.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."Matthew 6:13
Excuse for this is given: "This clause is omitted in the earliest manuscripts".
But then, weíve heard that tale before, have we not? That giant among scholars John W. Bergen said: "All the manuscripts in the world, except nine, contain these words. Is it credible that in this matter they should all be corrupted?"
In Matthew 16:4 and Luke 11:29 the Lord speaks of: "the sign of the prophet Jonas".
In each case this version omits the words: "the prophet". Perhaps this may seem but a little thing to many Christians. Let us keep in mind the fact that for many years a great controversy has raged between Bible believers and the modernist theologians who openly challenged the authenticity of the book of Jonah. When our Lord speaks and says: "the prophet Jonas", the controversy is ended forever in favour of those who believe the Bible to be a true record and revelation of the Word of God. If we omit these two words the great controversy could still remain slightly open to question. So this must be changed.
And long ago another mutilation of the text took place. Fulfilled prophecy is one of the great evidences of Biblical inspiration. This powerful, prophetic attestation to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus receives a cruel blow by the mutilation of the text in these two places. In Luke 24, our Lord Jesus presents the heart-warming assurance of his bodily resurrection: "And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet". Luke 24:40
There was the incontestable proof that he was the risen Christ. The very one whoís hands and feet had been nailed to the cross. The result in the hearts of the disciples was joy so great that they could hardly believe the truth that was presented to them. The value of this truth, for the purposes of dealing with those who oppose the resurrection of Christ, is beyond all calculation. This does away with the devilís doctrine of denying the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The New American Standard Version - New Testament 1963 - sweeps this glorious evidence out of the text and into the margin. The reason given?: "Some manuscripts add verse 40."Why do they not be honest and confess that the manuscripts basic to their Greek text are faulty and mutilated at this point? And that they have omitted this great statement which did so much to convince the disciples that Christ had really risen. It was this sight of his nail-pierced hands which did so much towards transforming them into ministers of lion-like courage in later days, after the day of Pentecost. With daring impiety the translators of the New American Standard Version relegate this text to the limbo of "doubtful Scriptures". Their authority for so doing is the fact that it is not found in a few very old and very corrupt manuscripts. So another great mutilation takes place. And in many cases it is not noticed by the student whoís been brainwashed into thinking heís using a reliable version which is suitable for the thoughtful student.
The new versions, of course, omit a considerable number of complete verses from Holy Scripture. The NASV is no exception to the rule. Let us take just one of the omitted verses and examine it for the possible reasons for which it came under attack in the early years of the Church. Acts 8:37 is omitted by many of the new versions of the Bible. The marginal notes inform us monotonously and nauseatingly: "not found in the oldest and best manuscripts".
We shall not have far to look for reasons behind this. In chapter 8 of Acts we have the glorious story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. A man of great authority and of great desire for the truth of the Word of God. In Godís own wonderful way he sends an evangelist at the precise moment when the Eunuch is reading the great prophetic scripture in Isaiah 53, which so clearly portrays the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. In response to the Eunuchís inquiry, Philip preaches Jesus to him from the same scripture. In verse 36 the Eunuch asks:
"See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"Acts 8:36
Philipís response and that also of the Eunuch reveals the Bible teaching concerning baptism.
"And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God". Acts 8:37
This is verse 37. The one that is ruthlessly torn out from many modern versions. The reasons are obvious. First of all, it makes clear the fact that baptism is only for those who are able to intelligently believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Furthermore, that belief must be in the light of the atonement of Christ as set forth so beautifully by the prophet Isaiah, and so clearly by the writers of the New Testament. For centuries baptism has been administered to infants who cannot possibly have any concept of the glories of the Gospel. Search as we may there is nothing in the Bible that remotely suggests the baptism of infants. Mark 16:15-16 you will remember says:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.; but he that believeth not shall be damned."Mark 16:15-16
These Scriptures, Acts 8:37 and Mark 16:15-16, correct the fatal error of infant baptism. If the error is to continue in the Church, both of these verses must be attacked and eliminated from the pages of Holy Scripture, or at least, brought under serious doubt.
At this point, someone might say: "Are there not many sincere Christian men and women who openly use and recommend the mutilated Versions?" Indeed there are many that do. Theirís does not seem to be the sin of Jehoiakim(Jeremiah 36:23) nor the sin of others who knowingly and unbelievingly corrupted the Word of God, (IICorinthians 2:17), as many did in Paulís day. Nor is theirís the sin of those who handle the Word of God deceitfully, (II Corinthians 4:2), much less the sin of circulating spurious manuscripts which lay claim to the Epistles of Paul, (II Thessalonians 2:3). Then and now, the professing Church has had many who were and are guilty of such diabolical acts of evil. Christian charity properly demands that many who use mutilated versions of the Scriptures, must be recognized as men and women of integrity and sincerity, and of the most sincere intention toward the Bible. It will help us to understand this apparent anomaly when we remember that Peter and Barnabas, Apostles of the Lord Jesus, godly men, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, were once carried away from upright conduct by the deliberate hypocrisy of wicked men. We read of it in Galatians 2:11-17.
In the case of true believers using corrupted versions, the writer must affirm his love and respect for them, while holding strongly to his deep conviction that they are using versions, which while laying claim to clarifying the Word of God, actually are corrupting it. In the estimation of this Bible teacher the new version movement is the greatest and one of the most successful attacks of the devil on the Church in the twentieth century. I would like to reverently take the words of the Apostle Paul and apply them to the question of the new versions of the Scripture. I speak as to wise men and women. Consider what I say and the Lord give you understanding in all things
In conclusion I would just like to bring a few quotes to you regarding Westcott and Hort. The following is from Dr. Hort: "Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue."
Still speaking of Evangelicals he says: "There are I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible."
He continues in another letter: "The book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it my feeling is that the theory is unanswerable."
Hort again: "I have been persuaded for many years that Mary worship and Jesus worship have very much in common in their causes and their results."
Westcott writing to his fiancee regarding a Pieta - that is a virgin with a dead Christ : "Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours."
Hort to Westcott regarding the atonement: "Certainly nothing could be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ bearing our sins and sufferings through his death. But indeed this is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy".
The above quotes are taken from the actual correspondence of these men, one with another, and also with their friends and in one case his fiancee. The modern revision movement is greatly influenced by the theories of these two men. Those same theories are virtually completely void of historical evidence. Is it too much to suggest that where the theology is so terribly corrupt that the theories will be no better?
To those of my readers who may feel convicted, dispirited and helpless about the situation into which they have fallen I commend the following lovely poem whose author is unknown to me. Iíve given it a title:
"He restoreth my soul."
I, who met my commander in chief in his tent at the dawn of the day.
Returned from battle with heart like a stone, confessing defeat and dismay.
But I who had given the enemy ground, who faltered and failed in my place.
Am trusted to face and to fight him again, on the field of my disgrace.
Humbled, and yet with rejoicing I go, to do my commanderís will.
Happy and honoured and pleased to know, I am his soldier still.
How precious it is to remember the words of the Psalmist:
"For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust". Psalm 103:14
"If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"IJohn 1:9
And now: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."Numbers 6:24-26
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."Hebrews 13:20-21
Concerning Revelation our Lord has said: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."Revelations 22:20
Brethren and sisters, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
By Cecil J. Carter