As far as the Bible and authority are concerned, some people who profess godly fear are divided between the Bible or the Book of Mormon or the Koran or Sacred Tradition, etc. as their standard for spiritual truth and FINAL AUTHORITY. This article is written for such people in the hope that they will find God's truth from the one and only source for final authority that He has given mankind. Friend, if you are in such a category, please consider the following: There have been many religious leaders--men such as Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Bahaullah, Zoroaster, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, etc., but Jesus of Nazareth stands uniquely apart from all of them. There are four basic reasons why this is so:
- He alone fulfilled Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah (Psa. 22; Isa. 53; etc.),
- He alone lived a perfectly sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21 cf. Rom. 3:23),
- He alone resurrected from the grave in a glorified body of flesh and bones (Lk. 24:39; Phil. 3:21) never to die again.
- Jesus is also declared to be God by nature, according to Scripture (Isa. 9:6; 40:3 cf. Mt. 3:3,11; Jn. 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; etc.).
These four truths set Him infinitely above all other religious leaders. Because of His unique credentials and ultimate authority, we must, therefore, view the Word of God to be whatever He says. So, what did Jesus say?
He said the whole law to the smallest detail would be fulfilled (Mt. 5:18); He said, Scripture cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35); when praying to the Father, He said "Your word is truth" (Jn. 17:17); He quoted the Scriptures to rebuke the devil (Mt. 4:4,7,10 cf. Deut. 4) and to substantiate His own behavior (Mt. 21:12,13); Jesus taught His words, which were recorded in the first four books of the New Testament, will never pass away (Mt. 24:35); He said that people are in error by not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God (Mt. 22:29). (This last reference shows that the written Word of God is error-free. Also see Lk. 24:25,44.) By the way, He also believed in a literal creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mk. 10:6), Noah (Mt. 24:37,38), Jonah (Mt. 12:40) and all other details from the Old Testament. In brief, Jesus Christ endorsed the entire Old Testament. But he also promised the New Testament to be inspired when He said the Holy Spirit would guide His disciples into all truth (Jn. 16:13), teach all things and bring all things to remembrance that Jesus taught (Jn. 14:26). This is important because of the following:
Peter, as one of Jesus' original Twelve apostles, was therefore directly guided into all truth (Jn. 16:13). He said that Paul's writings were Scripture (2 Pet. 3:16). In doing so, he indirectly endorsed approximately one-half of the New Testament which would be written by Paul. Paul, among other things, endorsed the gospel of Luke by quoting from it (1 Tim. 5:18 cf. Lk. 10:7). There are many overlapping truths stated in Matthew, Mark and Luke which are thereby likewise endorsed. The gospel of Matthew was written by the Apostle Matthew who was directly guided into all truth. Also, the Apostle John wrote five New Testament books. Getting back to Paul, he wrote that Scripture, which included his own writings (according to Peter), as well as the rest of the New Testament and the Old Testament, is final authority (2 Tim. 3:16) and sufficient for everything the man of God needs (v. 17)!
Bearing all of this in mind, if any so-called inspired writings, "Sacred Tradition," church council, creed, confession, experience, testimony, vision, dream, sensation, etc. would teach contrary to the Bible, we must, therefore, reject it as error, because of the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ!
Other religious books also claim to be the word of God, but this cannot be proven! The Book of Mormon is an example of such. In it we see two contradictions, of many, when compared to the Bible. Compare 2 Nephi 25:23 to Eph. 2:8,9, and Helaman 14:27 to Lk. 23:44. Since we cannot have two divinely inspired truths in contradiction to each other, and the Bible has already been established to be our standard of truth, then we can only conclude the Book of Mormon cannot be from the same source that produced the Holy Bible. It must therefore be rejected. There is no need to pray about the Book of Mormon, since it is impossible for it to be from the same source that produced the Bible.
The Koran must also be rejected as inspired for the same basic reason. It teaches that Jesus was just a prophet, no different than any prophet (Surah III, 84) which is refuted by Jn. 3:16; Mt. 3:11 and Rev. 17:14. Also, The Koran teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross (Surah IV, 157, 158) which is refuted by Lk. 23:46 cf. Jam. 2:26, etc.
Many so-called Sacred Tradition beliefs such as veneration of images, the Rosary, Purgatory, Mary being sinless and a mediator, infallibility of the Pope, sacraments for salvation, and others must likewise be rejected, because they are all renounced by the Bible. See Ex. 20:4,5; Mt. 6:6-8; 7:13,14; Rom. 3:23, 1 Tim. 2:5; Gal. 2:11-16; Titus 3:5; etc. In fact, if you claim to believe in the Bible then you must accept the Bible alone as authoritative and not tradition too, because that's what the Bible teaches (Mt. 15:3-9; Col. 2:8)!
The Bible alone is the proven Word of God apart from other books that share the same claim, but cannot prove that claim. The Bible is also the only book personally endorsed by Jesus Christ. The Bible, which is final authority, declares that Jesus is the only way (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12) to be saved from Hell, a literal place of eternal punishment in fire (Mt. 25:41,46). We are to go directly to Jesus for ourselves (Jn. 6:37; Mt. 11:28) in sincere prayer (Rom. 10:13), as the repentant, dying thief did (Lk. 23:42,43). We must forsake our sins (Lk. 13:3; Acts 20:21), deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily and follow Jesus (Lk. 9:23). Remember, Jesus made a one-time, never-to-be-repeated, blood sacrifice for all sins (Heb. 10:10-14). To believe on Jesus for salvation (Jn. 3:16; 17:20; Acts 16:31) means to trust on, cling to, and rely on Him for salvation, as the Greek shows. Dear reader, are you doing this?
You can have assurance of salvation now if you are "believing" on Jesus, 1 Jn. 5:12,13. Study the Bible and act upon its message. Let its message take preeminence over any dream, vision, experience, other religious books, etc. (2 Tim. 3:16). Your eternal destiny depends on this! Where you will be 100 years from now and 100 trillion years from now depends on what you do with the message of the Bible, which has been uniquely endorsed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to be the only standard of truth that should govern our religious lives. Your view of Scripture will affect your eternity. Please see our stirring heaven/hell page!
The true plan of salvation is repentance towards God and faith in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:21). We prove our repentance by our deeds (Acts 26:20). The Lord Jesus taught the road to life is "hard" and only a "few" will find it (Mt. 7:13,14, NKJV). Many get saved, but afterwards fall away (Lk. 8:13; Jn. 6:66; 1 Tim. 1:19; etc.). In other words, after initial salvation we must endure to the "end" to enter the kingdom of God and escape the lake of fire (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11). Eternal life comes to the repentant the moment such believe on Jesus for salvation (Jn. 3:16; 6:47; 1 Jn. 5:12,13), but there is another important aspect of eternal life that many are totally unaware of in our day because of the false teaching of eternal security. According to true grace teaching, eternal life is also a HOPE (Titus 3:7), yet to be REAPED (Gal. 6:8,9) in the AGE TO COME (Mk. 10:30) for only the ones who PERSIST IN DOING GOOD (Rom. 2:7) and DO NOT GROW WEARY AND GIVE UP (Gal. 6:9). If you end up in heaven it will be because you put into practice the message of the Bible (Lk. 8:21). If you go to hell, it will be because you didn't:There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. (John 12:48)
If a saved person sows to please his sinful nature he'll die spiritually (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8,9). The prodigal is a clear example of this (Lk. 15:24,32). The end result of sin is spiritual death, so DO NOT BE DECEIVED (James 1:14-16). Our 801 page book, The Believer's Conditional Security, is the most exhaustive and comprehensive refutation to eternal security ever written. It will not be refuted! To order this book, click on NO Eternal Security Book.
Because of the teaching of once saved always saved, grace has been taught as a license for immorality for so long, and without challenge, that when Scripture is quoted, such as 1 Cor. 6:9,10 or Rev. 21:8, it is disregarded, and the giver of God's Word is falsely accused of teaching legalism, bondage, works salvation, etc. This reflects how truly dark are the days in which we live!
Learn about the ACID TEST question to know if a ministry or local congregation is teaching a license for immorality as condemned by Jude 3,4. If the answer is YES, avoid it like the AIDS virus! To sit under this teaching influence could mean that your soul and the souls of your loved ones will be eternally damned as a result. To support and promote such a ministry and teaching is to share in its wicked work (2 Jn. 9-11). This includes your financial donations! Flee from such a ministry or congregation and encourage others to do the same before it's eternally too late.
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