FREEDOM OF RELIGION #2
The scriptures say: It is God's will, that we grant unto each other freedom of religion. Yet they say; God never has nor does he now, grant unto anyone, freedom of religion. There are scriptures which reveal that those of past dispensations: Who either changed in any way or added unto or subtracted from, the religion provided by the teachings of God, stood condemned. Then too, there are other scriptures which say: If we, of this dispensation, follow their example we will also be condemned.
There is however another group of scriptures which say God does allow us the privilege of choosing. Yes, we may if we choose, either change, add unto or subtract from the teachings of God which provides his religion. Yea, we may if we desire, even choose a religion which is altogether foreign to his teach- ings; but the scriptures plainly say that if we are to be acceptable with God, we must choose that religion which is altogether authorized by the teachings of God. You see, my readers with God (as a little boy might say), there just ain't no other religion. So how,I ask, could he grant unto us freedom of religion???
All of the above statements were (I believe) substantiated in article number one of this volume. However, the purpose of the remainder of this article and a few others to follow, shall be to present much more scriptural confirming evidence,
There are two reasons why I have chosen to do this.
1) With all my heart, I believe that only those who have New Testament scriptural authority for what they teach and practice and are teaching and practicing all the teachings of the New Testament will be saved.
2) I know that all of us, as the religious world, do not have New Testament scriptural authority for what we teach and practice and are not innocent of taking away from God's New Testament teachings. This I say because even we who believe in Jesus are divided into hundreds of groups who teach and practice different doctrines.
No, God did not grant his teachers of the Old Testament and their followers freedom of religion (2 Pet. 1:20-21, Deut. 18:20). Neither, my friends, did he grant his own son Jesus, the privilege of deciding what he would and would not teach. While he was here he did a lot of teaching; but that which he taught was not of himself but of his Father (Jo. 5:30, Jo. 7:15-16, Jo. 8:28-29, Jo. 10:38, Jo. 12:48-50, Jo. 14-10, Jo. 17-14).
My readers, if you do not believe these scriptures say Christ taught only that which he received from God, then please by some way help me to understand what they do teach.
Yes, Jesus did a lot of teaching while he was here but not all the teaching he had been ordained to do after he returned to heaven, he through the Holy Spirit, continued to teach his apostles until all the New Testament has been revealed (Jo. 14:25- 26, Jo. 16:12-15).
However, that which he (through the Spirit) taught them from heaven, just as that which he taught them in person while here, was not of himself but of his Father, in Jo. 16:14, Jesus said unto his apostles, he (the Holy Spirit) shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. Then in verse 15, he explained to them why he said, "He shall receive of mine." He said the reason I said that, was because God speaks through me first. He did not want them to think he was saying the teaching would be of him.
There are other scriptures which present this same fact from another point of view. In Jer. 31:31-34, God promises the world a New Covenant. Paul, in Heb. 8:6-13, declares the teachings of Christ as found in the New Testament is that Jeremiah promised covenant. God through Moses in Deut. 18:18-19 promised a new prophet through whom he would give this New Covenant and Peter in Acts 3:20-23 affirmed that promised prophet was Christ.
My readers, please stop and read Deut. 18:18-19. When we read the New Testament, well whose words do you think we are reading? Yes, this is why Paul in Heb. 1:2 could say God in these last days has spoken to us "through his Son." Again this is why Paul, who in Gal. 1:11-12, testified that he taught nothing but that which he received from Christ, could also in IThes.2:13 say; To the Thessalonians "You received our word not as the word of men but as it is in truth the word of God."
No, my readers, God did not grant unto his dear Son free- dom to teach his own doctrine. So his religion was nothing more nor less than the religion which was established by and only by the words of his father.
Likewise, the Holy spirit was also involved in the production of the New Testament (Jo. 14:25-26, Jo. 16:12-15, Mat. 10:18-20, ICor. 2:6-13, Eph. 3:1-5). But he was not grant- ed freedom of religion. No, he was not at liberty to reveal unto the teachers and writers of God's New Testament, one word which he had not received from Jesus (Jo. 16:12-15).
Now, we are down to God's last phase of making known unto the world the contents of his afore promised New Testament (Jer. 31:31-34). We have already heard scriptures say: (1) God first gave it unto Christ word for word; (2) Christ gave those words, without any additions or subtractions, unto the Holy Spirit; (3) The Holy Spirit gave the words and only the words which he received from Christ unto afore ordained men who were to teach and record them.
But how about them? Did God grant unto them freedom of religion? That is, did he allow them the privilege of adding one word unto the words the Holy Spirit gave them? No, and a thousand times no (Deut. 18:20, 1 Cor. 2:6-13, 1 Cor. 14:37, 1 Thes. 4:1-2, 1 Thes. 2:13, Gal. 1-11-12).
My readers, since we know that the scriptures say: God did not permit any of those precious ones through whom he gave us his word, to either change, add unto or subtract from it, how can we believe we are free to accept, reject, change, add unto and subtract from it.
The Apostle Paul, after saying he taught nothing but that which Jesus by the Spirit revealed unto him, then said: God would curse either man or angel who dared to teach that which he and his co-laborers had not taught (Gal. 1:6-12).
Yes, my friends, we should grant unto each other the right to freedom of religion; yet keep in mind that God only grants any of us the freedom to choose whether we will or will not accept his religion. What we read is what we get! Yes, God has said take it or leave it.
By: Tommy Hodge
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