Bob Lewis—May 20, 2023

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1-Peter 3:15: "But sanctify the Lord God in your own hearts, and always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverence."

So many churches nowadays preach a watered-down and warm and fuzzy theology that is contrary to the Word of God. It seems that most are concerned with selling or pushing an agenda and more focused on a bottom line and a body count for attendance. All the while, they discount and dilute the Word of God.

Protestant churches continually take one or two lines of Scripture out of complete context—cut and paste—to support an idea or belief for their particular denominations, unlike the Catholics who just re-write God's Word as needed.

All are missing the mark completely! This is and of itself wrong!

Revelation 22:18: " For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that 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 Book of Life, and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book" (vs 18-19).

We know that we are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Deuteronomy 8:3: "And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger, and then He fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did your fathers know it, so that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live."

Matthew 4:4: "But He answered and said, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."'"

Luke 4:4: "But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God."'"

We must read, believe and do what God says in His Bible in it's entirety! We cannot pick and choose which portions of Scripture we will believe.

Isaiah 28:9: "Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts, for precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little" (vs 9-10). We live by every word of God from Genesis to Revelation!

We used to go to church on Sundays and we would hear a line or two from the Bible, coupled with a 'feel good' sermon. We would put a dollar in the collection plate and that's it! We're there! We mumble a sinner's prayer and we're saved, Hallelujah, heaven here we come!

  • Was this really the Truth?
  • Can these beliefs and teachings be found in God's Word?

The question to Sunday church goers is

  • Have you yourself proven these beliefs by reading and locating them in God's Word?

1-Thessalonians 5:21: "Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good."

Why do so many believe a chopped-upped theology? Once Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the rest of humanity was a snap!

We know that Satan is the great dragon who deceives the whole world:

Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him."

According to estimations from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, there are more than 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. alone, and a staggering 45,000 worldwide! Is it any wonder that the Truth is twisted?

1-Corinthians 1:10: "Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; rather, that you be knit together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Reading the Bible for yourself and proving what your church preaches may be shocking. You may have to unlearn all that you've been taught as it will be contrary to what the Bible and the Plan of God actually says. It was conflicting all that was when I was growing up. It was always an issue for me personally. I never read the Bible for myself outside of church other than an occasional Psalm or Proverb. I never did what God said we are to do in His Word. I never kept His true Sabbath, much less His Holy Days.

With all those various denominations out there, and I'm not even going to get into some of the TV preachers and the hustle that they're pulling: miracle spring water, 'name and claim it,' 'blab it and rabid!' It's all the prosperity message, as if God has a 'genie in a bottle' and all you have to do is ask your wish and it will be granted.

'The road to heaven is not cheap,' just send in your 'seed of faith' money and you'll get there! Ya'all come! Granted, there are genuine, God loving church pastors and Sunday church member emulating Jesus, who with all their heart they love Him and they know God's Word. But they fail to keep His Sabbath and Holy Days!

John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments."

All of them! This is not an indictment of them, but just an observation! Keep in mind, judgment will begin in God's House first! That's us!

1-Peter 4:17: "For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it first begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the Gospel of God?"

In taking a look at some of the Scriptures used for the 'cut and paste' theologies, we will discuss a few of the most common. We should start at the beginning and have a foundation and understanding of who God is:

  • Creator
  • Sovereign
  • Heavenly Father
  • the Alpha and the Omega
  • He's the same in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament

Does God change?

Malachi 3:6: "For I am the LORD, I change not. Therefore, you sons of Jacob are not consumed."

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (vs 1-2).

Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

If God changed He would negate what He wrote in the Old Testament and contradict His own words. God cannot lie!

Titus 1:2: "In the hope of eternal life, which God Who cannot lie promised before the ages of time."

Another question we get asked frequently is: Do I go to heaven when I die? This is certainly more warm and fuzzy than going into a grave, but is it really true? This is a biggie that everyone wants to know what's at the end of life. We know that it's death.

So many churches preach that when a person dies that person's spirit floats off to heaven as an eternal spirit being to walk the streets of heaven for all eternity. Just how one gets there, there is a variation on the different religious denominations and doctrines. Heaven is the destination of all 'good' people. Most Protestant denominations believe that you must be born again. Just simply say a sinner's prayer, confess your sins and receive Jesus into your heart, and be a good person, and you will float off to heaven and be with 'grandma' upon your death. You will live out all eternity 'walking the streets of gold.'

Sounds like a wonderful plan, I believed the most all of my life, as did most of you until God called! We know that God is the One Who does the calling:

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

God says that 'you're missing My Truth and reward.'

James 1:18: "According to His own will, He begat us by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings."

Revelation 1:6: "And has made us kings and priests to God and His Father; to Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen."

If we think about it, why would God put His only Son through such a horrific death to pay a price for mankind if all we have to do is say a simple little prayer. Inviting Jesus into our heart and being the Lord of our lives may be a step in the right direction, but there is work to be done. We must do our part: obey, keep and do His commandments!

So many times I've been to funerals and heard people say about departed loved ones, 'I'll bet they're looking down on us right now, smiling and wishing we were with them.' That's kind of hard to believe as for some of the folks I've known in the coffin. It's their first time in a church other than the obligatory holiday tradition.

Anyway, it makes everyone present feel better and comforts the family, easing the pain of the loss of a loved one.

What, in fact, does God's Word say about death, and what happens to us when we die. To get a grip on this, let's look at where we started, where we were made and how. I believe it if we keep it simple in the beginning we will not get confused as explained in the words of our Creator! We won't leave any room for arguments.

Genesis 2:7: "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

God made us from the dust of the earth; fairly plain and simple. He breathed His breath of life into us and made us a living being. Again, not complicated.

We know that the woman was taken from man, v 21: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall over Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and afterward closed up the flesh underneath. Then the LORD God made the rib (which He had taken out of the man) into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man'" (vs 21-23).

We were without sin until Satan deceived Eve, and both she and Adam fell from grace and sin and death entered the world! Having now an end of life, where does one go upon the end of life? God clearly states:

Genesis 3:19: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return."

God makes it clear that He's putting us right back where He got us from, the dust of the earth. Many ask, 'What about the spirit, the breath of life?' well, that belonged to God in the first place; it was not ours! If we're baptized and have received His Holy 'Spirit, it will return unto God, our mortal body would still be returned to the ground from which it came.

1-Corinthians 6:20: "For you were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." His Spirit returns to Him!

Ecclesiastes 12:7: "And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it."

It's pretty clear, and it does not say anything about a trip up to heaven anywhere. What about all our faults and memories?

Ecclesiastes 9:5: "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is long ago perished; nor do they any longer have a portion forever in all that is done under the sun" (vs 5-6).

Again, we see that when we die our faults, our memories and all that we were dies with us. We know nothing!

So, who does go to heaven? Jesus Himself answers this question:

John 3:13: "And no one has ascended into heaven, except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is in heaven."

By the very words of Jesus Himself, no person has ever ascended up to the third heaven where God the Father is seated. This deception is a lie from Satan, and has been perpetuated through the ages and the many division among Christianity.

Why all the deception and confusion?

Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him."

We know that Satan's mission is to deceive the people of God and to perpetuate his lies. It's a lot easier to believe a pleasant, calming lie about floating off to heaven and walk on streets of gold, quite the contrary to the Truth of being buried back in the ground, decaying back to dust and awaiting one of two resurrections that are actually in God's Word.

Satan is a clever enemy! I will not go into the premise of going to 'hell'—another misconception—which will have to wait for a future message.

What about the thief on the cross? I hear from some of my 'Sunday church buddies.'

Luke 23:42: "Then he said to Jesus, 'Remember me, Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom.' And Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I tell you today, you shall be with Me in paradise'" (vs 43-43).

People miss this so frequently. They just don't read the words and what it actually says. The context of Jesus' reply is that He (Jesus) will remember the thief when He comes into His Kingdom. It is future tense as Jesus has not yet returned and established His Kingdom; the first resurrection has not yet taken place.

'We keep a Sunday sabbath' the Lord's Day, which is another one. Sunday is not the true Sabbath. We probably get this question the most. People think we are Seventh-Day Adventists or some other off the wall bunch. In keeping this overview brief, we always look to God's Word to prove or answer any questions.

Genesis 2:2: "And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work, which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on it He rested from all His work, which God had created and made" (vs 2-3).

The seventh day was sanctified, set apart, at the beginning of creation.

Exodus 31:13: "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, 'Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations to know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies you.'"

It is also the fourth commandment; Exodus 20:8: "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy."

So many people claim that it is a Jewish tradition or strictly Old Testament. These are the same folks who probably have their Bibles full of newspaper clippings and wedding, birth and death announcements covered with dust on an end-table somewhere. Never once cracking it open to see what is actually written on the pages inside. This was me years ago!

The real news was that the Sabbath was established roughly 2300 years before a Jew ever walked on the earth. (it's an estimate)

Man changed the Sabbath Day to Sunday with no Scriptural authority. This is another study in and of itself, as Chauncey, our resident historian, can elaborate. Some Sunday church goers call it the Lord's Day, how 'we choose' to worship the Lord as I was told by a local pastor when I brought up the fourth commandment.

God's Holy Days fall into the same misconception as the Sabbath. They too, are mistaken and dismissed for 'Jewish' holidays and traditions.

Mark 7:9: "Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition."

Leviticus 23:1—this clarifies what God actually said: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "Concerning the appointed Feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are My appointed Feasts"'" (vs 1-2).

Israel was made up of we tribes, not all were Jews. It is not referring to a little country in the Middle East founded in 1948. I've heard comments like:

  • we no longer have to keep Jewish traditions or commandment as it is Old Testament has been done away with
  • the law has been done away with, it's been nailed to the cross

which is another biggie!

Matthew 5:18: "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled."

What was actually done away with was the hand-written ordinances of Moses.

Hebrews 9:10: "These services consist only of meat and drink offerings, and various washings and physical ordinances, imposed until the time of the new spiritual order."

Colossians 2:14—for clarification: He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross."

This does not mean that any of the commandments of God were done away with. Our sins were nailed to the cross when Jesus was crucified. Again, taken out of context, it justifies doing away with the Sabbath and the keeping of God's Holy Days. They try and justify it with chopping up God's Scriptures.

God also makes it clear what happens if we do not share His precise Truth.

Galatians 1:8: "But if we, or even an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you that is contrary to what we have preached, LET HIM BE ACCURSED! As we have said before, I also now say again. If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (vs 8-9).

That's pretty serious! Two times within two Scriptures God is pretty serious about what we share and how we share it.

Now is the time for the people of God to return to His true Word. He is calling those who will be in the first resurrection. He's calling us not just to believe, but to do.

James 2:19: "Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe and tremble in fear.

1-John 2:4: "The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him."

Hosea 4:6: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being as a priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children."

We cannot cut and paste what we want to believe and dismiss any of God's written Word. Our nation is in chaos, our churches are just as bad. Believing will not cut it. Saying a sinner's prayer won't measure up, either.

Manmade traditions and flying a Jesus flag will not get you into God's Kingdom. The blessed Truth of God's Plan is that we will be resurrected to glory with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ upon His return to establish His Kingdom on the earth, and to reign with Him.

Revelation 20:6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

To do this we must be obedient and keep His commandments and Holy Days as He tells us in His Word.

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Peter 3:15
  • Revelation 22:18-19
  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • Matthew 4:4
  • Luke 4:4
  • Isaiah 28:9-10
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21
  • Revelation 12:9
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • John 14:15
  • 1 Peter 4:17
  • Malachi 3:6
  • John 1:1-2
  • Hebrews 13:8
  • Titus 1:2
  • John 6:44
  • James 1:18
  • Revelation 1:6
  • Genesis 2:7, 21-23
  • Genesis 3:19
  • 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • Ecclesiastes 9:5-6
  • John 3:13
  • Revelation 12:9
  • Luke 23:42-43
  • Genesis 2:2-3
  • Exodus 31:13
  • Exodus 20:8
  • Mark 7:9
  • Leviticus 23:1-2
  • Matthew 5:18
  • Hebrews 9:10
  • Colossians 2:14
  • Galatians 1:8-9
  • James 2:19
  • 1-John 2:4
  • Hosea 4:6
  • Revelation 20:6

Transcribed: 5/24/23

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