by Jefferson David Tant
Does your denomination have a creed? I suppose most denominations have an official creed outlining the things that distinguish one denomination from another. I have a box full of such books. These include
- the Catholic New Baltimore Catechism,
- the Baptist Hiscox Standard Manual for Baptist Churches,
- the Methodist Discipline,
- the Book of Mormon,
- the Jehovah’s Witnesses Truth that Leads to Eternal Life,
- the Christian Science Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
- the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer,
- the Presbyterian Confession of Faith,
- the Assemblies of God The Local Church,
- the Lutheran Small Catechism,
- the Salvation Army Chosen to be a Soldier,
- the Church of the United Brethren in Christ Discipline,
- the Treatise of the Faith and Practice of the Original Free Will Baptists,
- the Pentecostal Holiness Discipline,
Well, I could go on and on, but don’t have the time or ink to name all 42,000 different denominations. They all claim to follow Christ, with their faith based on the Bible’s teaching.
But that cannot be true! It should be patently obvious that all these doctrinal statements represent confusion and division, and this is exactly the opposite of what Christ prayed for and what the apostles worked for. Consider a few Scriptures on this subject. In the gospel of John, we have a record of Christ praying to His Father.
"I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, [art] in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me, .And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me” (John 17:20-23).
What did Christ pray for? He prayed that his 12 disciples might be united even as He and the Father were. And this unity would be a sign that Christ had been sent into the world. Are these 42,000 denominations united? Obviously not. Some teach that Christ was born of a virgin, while some teach that Adam is now God and he came to earth and had sex with Mary — (Mormons). Thus, she was not a virgin, but also guilty of adultery, since she was engaged to Joseph. And then others teach that Jesus is not the Son of God, but is Michael the archangel --(Jehovah’s Witnesses). Some churches teach that Christ fulfilled all prophecies made about him, while others teach that Christ was prevented by Satan from establishing his kingdom and that he will come again sometime to establish his kingdom on earth and rule for 1,000 years (Premillennialists). A growing number of denominations are now ordaining women and homosexuals into the ministry, while others insist that the Scriptures do not allow this. That’s not what I would call “being perfected in unity.” What can we conclude from this? If this is not what God wants and what Christ prayed for, then it must be the work of Satan. Can anyone truthfully dispute that conclusion?
Now, think for a moment. Jesus prayed for the disciples’ unity, just as he and the Father were one —united. So I ponder this and think about the unity in heaven. “Could it be that the Father is a Baptist, and Christ is a Unitarian, and the Holy Spirit a Catholic?” No sane person would consider such a possibility. And therefore, the unity Christ prayed for is not represented by the denominational division we have.
So, what is the cause of this division and confusion? Would it be Satan? Who could argue with that conclusion? Consider Paul’s warning about false teachers to the church at Corinth.
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds” (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
In Paul’s earlier letter to Corinth, he encouraged them…
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).
Is the denominational division we have in the world today an answer to that exhortation by Paul? Obviously not, but rather far from it.
Satan was already at work in the early church, and Paul dealt with this more than once, as did the other writers. He encouraged them to be “complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” He did not tell them to “do their own thing.” Even in a local congregation, there was division.
“For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you” (I Corinthians 11:18-19).
Who can rightly claim that the Bible allows all this division and confusion? If anyone would make such a claim, I would refer him to I Corinthians 14:33,
“for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
Did you notice what Paul wrote? He said God is not “a God of confusion, as in all the churches of the saints.” I suppose that most, if not all, of the 42,000 denominations, would claim they are a church that belongs to God. Are all of those denominations in unity? Obviously not. Is there confusion? Obviously so. Are there conflicting doctrines? Who can deny it? So, what’s the logical conclusion? That this confusion and division is not of God. Then what is the source of this confusion and division? Who else but Satan through his “false apostles and deceitful workers, who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ”?
Notice something else Paul wrote to Timothy:
“For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church” (I Corinthians 4:17).
What did Paul write? He wrote of “my ways which are in Christ,” which “I teach everywhere in every church.” Let us suppose that there were different denominations then, and Paul decided to go on a short journey preaching three times a week. He went to Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Salvation Army, Episcopalian, etc., churches. Could he preach the same thing in each of these churches? Obviously not, for they all teach different and contradicting doctrines.
But of course, there were no differing denominations then. Christ promised to build “my church” (Matthew 16:18). He did not promise to build “my churches” that would teach “differing doctrines.”
I do not claim that every false teacher is deliberately teaching false doctrine. I believe that some are, who are using their position to enrich themselves. But there are those who are simply mistaken in their understanding of the Scriptures or have been deceived. Consider a preacher named Apollos. He was a great preacher, but he was mistaken.
“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:24-26).
This man was mistaken in his understanding of the Scripture and was not teaching the whole truth. But what a great and honest heart he had when corrected by this godly couple. I wish those preachers who were mistaken that I have tried to talk to had that same attitude. I remember some years ago when I was living in New Mexico there was a young Baptist preacher who lived across the street from me. We got to know each other, and one day I went to his house to see if we could sit down together for a Bible study. He told me he knew what I believed, and had no interest in studying with me. I said, “Would you answer one question for me?” He agreed. I asked him, “Do you believe that we are saved by faith only.” He said he did. Then I opened my Bible to James 2:24 and asked him to read it.
“You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”
After reading it, he slammed my Bible shut and said, “That’s not the kind of God I serve.” He then walked away. Closed Bible, closed mind. As my father would say, his mind was like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. If my memory is correct, he admitted he had never read that passage, and did not know it was in the Bible. But his mind was already set in concrete.
Now, back to the creed books. Why do we need them? There were no such official doctrinal statements other than the inspired Scriptures for hundreds of years after the establishment of the Lord’s church in the 1st Century. God’s revelation was completed then, and he has given no new doctrines and has given no changes. If God thought that was good enough then, why isn’t it good enough for us now? Consider a statement in Jude 3,
“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
The gospel, the system of faith, has been given once for all the saints and once for all time. No new revelations, no additions, no subtractions, no changes. Christ told the disciples that all truth would be revealed to them.
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:12-13).
If that promise was kept, then there is no new truth that has been revealed after the 1st century. Anyone who claims to have a new truth or revelation is just a false teacher, a deceiver, a minister of Satan, whether deliberately or mistakenly. Consider what John wrote in Revelation 22:18-19,
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
God’s Word has always been sufficient, and even Moses was warned not to tamper with it.
“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
I have heard the statement that if the Bible had been written today, there would be some changes made, as some want to allow homosexual behavior to be approved, or for women to become pastors. But such thoughts are claiming that God didn’t have the power to look into the future and see the changes that would come in society. That would be considered blasphemy, in that it is saying that God is not all-seeing and all-powerful and all-knowing.
Consider the apostle Peter’s words in I Peter 1:23-25,
“For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever.' And this is the word which was preached to you.”
Were there other doctrines, other gospels, and creeds of men present in the early church, in the first century? Certainly so. And Paul dealt with that in strong words to the churches of Galatia:
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).
John dealt with the same problem in II John 1:9-10,
“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into [your] house, and do not give him a greeting.”
Good reader, we have what God has given us — the Scriptures. God said they were sufficient for us. God said we must not add to, subtract from or change in any way. The creeds, catechisms, manuals, and doctrines of men do all of that. If we want to please God and be found faithful to His Word in the end, we need to throw away all of the creeds, catechisms, manuals, and doctrines of men and come back to God’s divine Word — the Bible.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
If it is true that the Scripture is adequate, and can furnish us unto every good work, then why do we need the creeds of men? If they are needed, then why didn’t the Lord provide for them in his teaching?
That passage in II Timothy 3 is in absolute and direct contradiction to a statement in one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses publications, The Watchtower:
“2. "... people cannot see the Divine Plan in studying the Bible by itself ... if he then lays them [Scripture Studies] aside and ignores them and goes to the bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures." The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1910, p. 298.
Notice that they claim one cannot understand God’s plan without their “Scripture Studies.” That means that for over 1,800 years since Pentecost, there was no understanding of truth until the 1800s when Charles Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witness movement. Who can believe it?
If the creeds agree with the Bible, then we don’t need them. But if they disagree with the Bible, then we still don’t need them.
So, what’s wrong with the creeds? They contradict one another and they contradict the Bible. Consider just a few examples.
(Hiscox Baptist Manual) -- Church Membership, p. 22 – “It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but ‘one Lord, one faith, and one baptism,’ and no differing denominations existed, the baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the church … In that sense, ‘baptism was the door into the church.’ Now, it is different; and while the churches are desirous of receiving members, they are wary and cautious that they do not receive unworthy persons. The churches therefore have candidates come before them, make their statement, give their ‘experience,’ and then their reception is decided by a vote of the members. And while they cannot become members without baptism, yet it is the vote of the body which admits them to its fellowship on receiving baptism.”
The Bible says we are “baptized into Christ,” not “voted” into Christ. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Note — it looks like it is more difficult to become a Baptist than to become a Christian. Question – Who said it was different?
On another point, consider the following quote from Hiscox -- Church Ordinances, Note 8, pages 20,
21 – “Baptism is not essential to salvation, for our churches utterly repudiate the dog-ma of ‘baptismal regeneration’ ; but it is essential to obedience, since Christ commanded it…”
Note — logically, that means that obedience is not essential to salvation, either.
The Bible says baptism is essential.
“He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
“And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16).
“And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you -- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience -- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:21).
(Methodist and Episcopalian creeds) “Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort.” (“Faith only” is common in many denominations—Baptist, Lutheran, Church of God, Presbyterian, etc.)
But the Bible says: “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). In other words, it is an obedient faith that God considers.
(The Catholic Church) It is well known that Catholic priests are to be respectfully addressed as “Father.”
But the Bible says: Christ does not agree with this, as he addressed the matter of the Pharisees ascribing to themselves titles of honor. “And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven” (Matthew 23:6-9).
Obviously, this does not refer to our fathers in the flesh, but to giving some religious title.
(The Catholic Church) I have a booklet titled “The Bible Is Not Our Sole Guide” published by the Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus. The whole text is dedicated to explaining why common people are incapable of reading the Bible with understanding, which is why only the ordained clergy can interpret it. The heading on page 43 states: “Inadequacy of the Bible as the sole rule of faith.”
To further emphasize their point, the Knights of Columbus' book states that “The Scribes who were professionally trained through long periods of study and instruction were the only ones who had competence in the interpretation of the Books of Moses. The Jews, contemporaries of Jesus, would have been horrified at the principle that anyone is qualified to read and interpret for himself…” (p. 10).
But the Bible says, as when Paul wrote to the Ephesian church; “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). Paul encourages common Christians to understand, and how is this to be done? Consider what Paul said about the people in Berea:
“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
These common people listened to Paul’s preaching and then went home to check what he was preaching by the Scriptures to be sure he was preaching the truth. The common people were able to discern and understand. And Paul commended them. He didn’t say, “You cannot understand the Scriptures without some official help.” They didn’t need some ordained clergyman to do it for them. And we are reminded of a Scripture cited earlier:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
If the Scriptures can make us “adequate, equipped for every good work,” then who says the Bible is “inadequate?” Furthermore, in my copy of The Baltimore Catechism No. 3 on page vii, there is this statement: “All volumes of Catholic teaching, in this time of transition, are outdated by the time they are published.” Then what are we supposed to believe? Does that mean that what the church taught ten years ago may not be true today? Thankfully, that is not true about the Bible, as it “abides forever” (I Peter 1:25). Truth does not change!
If it is true that the catechisms “are outdated by the time they are published,” then how can anyone ever know the truth? The apostle Paul wrote about those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7).
Another passage that touches on this is Ephesians 3:3-4: “…that by revelation there was made
known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you
read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ.”
Note that Paul was not writing to the professors in some theological seminary, but to ordinary Christians. And what did he tell them? He told them that when they read what he wrote, they could have the same understanding that Paul, the Biblical scholar had. That clearly contradicts Catholic teaching.
(The Catholic Church) One other note about the Catholic creed is that priests, bishops, etc., are forbidden to marry.
But the Bible has other teachings on this matter, as we know Peter was married, and Paul gives the qualifications for those who serve as pastors, bishops or shepherds. Then Paul instructs Timothy that there will come a time when there is a departure from the faith, which will include forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats.
"Faithful is the saying, If a man seeks the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach” (I Timothy 3:1-2).
“And when Jesus had come to Peter's home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever” (Matthew 8:14).
If Peter has a mother-in-law, wouldn’t it be logical to assume he was married?
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (I Timothy 4:1-3).
Furthermore, there is no evidence in the Bible that Peter was ever the pope.
(Church Manual of The First Church of Christ Scientist) This denomination, founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879 has a creed separate from the Bible, as do all denominations. On page 61 of my edition, under “Communion,” we have the following words:
“No more Communion. Section I. The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, shall observe no more Communion seasons.”
But the Bible gives different instructions. In the Gospels, an account is given of the Lord eating the last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion. Then Paul, in giving instruction to the church at Corinth, wrote the following:
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’ (I Corinthians 1:23-25).
Historians agree that the early church partook of the Communion, The Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. How did they know to do that? The early disciples were guided by the Apostles, who were guided by the Holy Spirit to reveal “all the truth,” as noted in John 16:12-13.
We could go on for hundreds of pages, but I believe the point has been made. The doctrines and creeds of men contradict one another, but more importantly, they contradict the Bible.
Time will fail if we go on to write about denominations that are ordaining homosexuals and women to the ministry, although the Bible forbids both (see Romans 1:24-27, I Timothy 2:12).
Dear Reader, there are churches throughout the world that wear no name but Bible names, who have no creed other than the Word of God, who only practice what they find in the Scriptures. They still exist from the 1st Century, in fulfilling the prophecy made in Daniel concerning the four earthly kingdoms that Daniel saw in his vision, and the kingdom that was going to be established by Jesus Christ.
"And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).
It is impossible to reconcile the Bible’s statement in Ephesians 4:4-6 with the condition that we find in the denominations of men.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
The passage does not say “many bodies/churches” nor “many faiths” (Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, etc.), nor does it say “four baptisms” (sprinkling, pouring, immersion, sprinkling rose petals).
Finally, we need to consider God’s attitude toward denominations. Do you realize that the Jewish religion had denominations? They all believed in the same God and sincerely thought their denominations were acceptable to God. There were Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, Herodians, Essenes, etc. There is no passage in the Bible where any Jewish denomination is referred to in a favorable manner.
Time and time again Christ rebuked them. “And Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees’” (Matthew 16:6). There is a reference to “the sect of the Sadducees” in Acts 15:7. Zelotes are mentioned in Matthew 10:4. In countless passages, Christ pronounces “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees.” Some 18 times the phrase “woe to you” is uttered by Christ in the four gospels.
There is only one designation among the Jews which receives a good mention. As Christ is calling his disciples, he sees Nathaniel sitting under a tree, and speaks to him: “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47).
The Jews were Israelites, and that’s all God wanted them to be, not Pharisee Israelites, not Sadducee Israelites, not Herodian Israelites, etc. “Israel” was the name God gave to Jacob. So we know that term was acceptable since God gave it.
“Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed" (Genesis 32:28).
And what does God want us to be? Not ----- Christians, nor ------ Christians, nor -------- Christians. (You can supply the denominational names, as I don’t have enough paper or ink to describe the 42,000 different sects that say they are “Christian.” Centuries ago, we find a name by which the early disciples were called. Paul and Barnabas spent about a year in Antioch preaching, and notice what is written in Acts 11:26:
“And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”
The word “called” in the original New Testament Greek is “crematidzo,” and has the implication of a divine calling. “to utter an oracle, i.e., divinely intimate…” (Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, Spiros Zodiates). Then we consider the words of Peter in I Peter 4:16:
“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.”
Why would we want to suffer wearing the names men and women have chosen? Whether the names were chosen by Joseph Smith, Judge Rutherford, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Wesley, or whoever, why not just be called by the name God gave, and follow only his creed, the Bible rather than the names and doctrines of men? Do you remember the passage that was cited earlier in this treatise from Matthew 15:9?
“But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”
What about the designation of the church/kingdom/family that was established on Pentecost? We can find such terms as “Kingdom of God,” “body of Christ,” “church of Christ,” “bride of Christ,” “church of the Lord,” “church of God,” etc. There is no official name given to the Lord’s church, but all the terms used reflect a body of people who have a common relationship in that body or church that was established on Pentecost. But where can we find the thousands upon thousands of names invented by men? Where can I go to learn about the “Nudist Christian Church of the Blessed Virgin Jesus,” or “The Church of Body Modification,” or “The Methodist Church,” or “The Roman Catholic Church?”
If the church belongs to and was established by Christ, why don’t we let him claim ownership? Why not refer to it by one of the names given in the New Testament? Among the terms mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I find Paul writing to the church at Rome, and sending greetings from other churches. He writes “all the churches of Christ salute you” (Romans 16:16). If Christ is the founder and head of the church, why would we want to attach some human-invented name to Christ’s body? Why call a church the “Lutheran Church,” when even Luther begged his followers not do call themselves after him? Why call the church “The Church of Body Modification,” when such a name gives no honor to the one who died and poured out his blood in order to bring about the establishment of his body, his church?
Consider something Paul wrote to the Ephesian church: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15). If those in God’s spiritual family were given names by God, why can’t we be satisfied with the various terms that the Holy Spirit revealed to the writers of the New Testament Scriptures?
Suppose a missionary in a Muslim nation was talking with a person who was interested, who wanted to learn more about the church that was established at Pentecost. What book would the missionary give him? The Baptist Manual, The Methodist Discipline, the Catholic Catechism? Could we not agree that all that would be needed to give the person would be a Bible?
Centuries ago, when Joshua was about to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land, he gave the following challenge to the people.
"And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).
What has taken place in the centuries following the establishment of Christ’s church in the 1st Century was predicted in Paul’s letter to Timothy in II Timothy 4:3-4:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
Dear reader, consider what the Apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle:
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence" (II Peter 1:2-3).
If God has granted to us “everything pertaining to life and godliness,” then there is nothing that any creed, doctrine, manual, catechism, or whatever, that can add to what God wants us to know and practice. The fact that every manmade creed contradicts something in the Bible, God’s Word, shows that it came from the mind of Satan. Furthermore, human creeds are often rewritten, changed and updated, which shows they are from men, and not from God.
"All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever" (I Peter 1:24-24).
We still have the right and power to choose. We can serve in the denominations men have created, or we can serve in the kingdom/church established by Jesus Christ on the Day of Pentecost as described in Acts chapter 2.