God has always demanded that His word be taught faithfully to His people. Jeremiah reports, “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the Lord, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word” (Jer. 26:1-2).
A similar charge is given today to every preacher who stands in the pulpits of our land, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (II Tim. 4:1-2).
Under both the Mosaic and Christian periods, alterations have been forbidden. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2). Just before John laid down inspiration’s pen for the final time, he challenged us with these words, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).
The charge Paul gave is “before God and the Lord Jesus Christ” thus showing the seriousness of the charge. To “preach any other gospel than that we (the apostles) have preached unto you,” has the curse of God upon it (Gal. 1:6-9). To “seek to please men” means “I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Thus Peter instructs us “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). When all of these instructions are followed, all who stand in the pulpit will be able to obey Paul’s inspired commandment: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. 1:10).
Why so much division today? Why so many “churches” teaching different and contradictory doctrines? Why do we not have unity of all believers as Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21? The answer is really quite simple; someone is disobeying the requirements set by God on those who represent themselves as being messengers of His Word. Any and every time, when what preachers teach is not in harmony with God’s word, in every case, “yea, let God be true, but every man a liar“ (Rom. 3:4).
-Paul M. Wilmoth