Following the founding of the Church of God following the death of Jesus Christ, it did not take long for Satan to infiltrate and corrupt her with his false gospel. The Apostle Paul warned the Galatian church about this problem. He told them that they were hearing and believing a “perverted” gospel which was just enough like the true gospel to fool those who were looking for ways to improve God’s system of church governance. One of the tricks the devil’s ministers have used from early on involves what I call “Scripture editing.” In this system he and his ministers add to or take from what the Lord wrote in His Holy Bible in order to appease their congregations. This practice had its start in the Garden of Eden and had an immediate, dynamic, world-changing effect. By adding only one word (“not”) to what the Lord had told Adam and Eve, Satan made sin a possibility for all of mankind. God had told Adam and Eve that if they so much as touched the forbidden fruit they would die. By adding one world (“You shall NOT surely die”) the history of mankind was changed.
I inherited the devil’s the-Bible-is-open-to-interpretation theology from my Baptist and Church of Christ relatives and ministers. In the early 1950’s I was “saved” with the understand that sin was inevitable due to Adam’s sin, but that all I needed to do was repent periodically in order to remain in good standing with the Lord. Years later I found myself preaching that same message locally, by radio in three states and in Mexico and Guatemala. Then God turned my world upside down by revealing His Truth to me by instilling within me an insatiable desire for that Truth. When His Biblical Truth began to come out of me I went from being a popular, God-sent “messenger of truth” to being a hell-bound, Satan-controlled reprobate. Ironically, the same people formed those two diametrically-opposed opinions of me. Why? What did I do that caused my loyal supporters to become my enemies? I changed my message from what they wanted to hear to what God wanted them to hear.
One of the major Truths I had to recognize, embrace and preach concerned the “only believe” lie. Ironically, the more Scriptures I used to debunk the theme the more hatred I received from those who claimed to believe the Scriptures. Nothing has changed, which is proof of Satan’s total power over the minds of church people. So-called Christianity is not alone in this situation. Satan uses this same power to control all other heathen religions. In fulfilment of the Lord’s command relative to all things spiritual (2 Tim. 2:15), we will now enter into an in-depth study of this life and death controversy using the ONLY Standard the Lord has made available for us–His Holy Bible–by which we must live (Mat. 4:4) and by which we will be judged (Jn. 12:48).
If the past is an indication of the present, this Scripture-based study will be rejected by the many and embraced by the few (Mat. 7:13,14). It is my hope that the latter group will increase in number. L.J.