No today is not about the basics of mathematics but abut the basics of theology. This following definition of theology shows us why we are asking God for mercy. “Theology is the study of religion, plain and simple. ... The first half of theology is theo-, which means god in Greek. The suffix -logy means “the study of,” so theology literally means “the study of god," but we usually expand it to mean the study of religion more broadly.” First of all it should be “G” in God. If we had just stuck to the study of God, which means we would have stuck to His words, the church wouldn’t be in this mess today. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” But as the definition goes on to say we expanded the study of God to include religion and yes God became god. God and religion are two different things. We also have the word doctrine. Doctrine is “a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group of people. The church then took it a step further and turned away from God’s word by adding to it and subtracting from it. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Many people are religious but have no idea who God is. Sadly the study of God was expanded to include the man-made. So instead of sound doctrine, theology became religious. This time is already here. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” These people are everywhere. So instead of our study being about God it became about man’s ideas about God and there are many. Tradition experience and reason replaced the authority of God’s word. The church became a powerless religion. “Religion is a particular system of beliefs.” Another expanded the definition to say, “Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a group of people.” While still another definition said, “religion is a controversial and complicated subject in religious studies with scholars failing to agree on any one definition.” So we end up with groups of people who have their own theology, doctrines and consider themselves very religious yet as Paul also said, 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
                This gospel is about God’s word not mans words about God. The problem here is that there has been a lot of addition and subtraction taking placing. Yes loosing weight or putting on an addition to your house can be very beneficial but not when it comes to the word of God. Addition to and subtracting from will leave you void of God and the word theology can no longer used. It is replaced with atheism, godlessness, unbelief and I like this one; know-nothingism. This ism could be described Hebrews 5:11 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.” 1 Timothy 1:7 “They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” We can know about God because he has given us His word. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Titus 1:16 “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
                When the church becomes a man-made entity, we have lost our way. We have lost our way! Look at all the men and women that are worshipped in the church. As I have said before the church has their idols / statutes of men who have gone before us. Tear them down and stop worshipping the man-made! (Asbury and many others) You too can buy a 6-inch replica for $19.99, but I digress. How did we get into this mess? The answer is simple as man turned away from God’s word by adding and subtracting. God’s word is not a book that we can slice and dice. 2 Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit guides in all truth and those who follow wholeheartedly continue to speak the truth. 1 John 4:6 “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” John 15:26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” Because the church has grieved the Spirit, God has turned his face from us and truth is nowhere to be found. Isaiah 63:10 “Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.” You see this all the time in churches, as people do not want to be confronted with God. Isaiah 30:9 “For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”
                The last couple of blogs have talked about the false prophets, teachers and leaders in the church who have led those who will listen to them astray. What they teach is not the gospel because they have added to and subtracted from. They want you to understand the white on the page not necessarily the letters. They want you to read their books. They want you to buy their study bibles. I will warn you again; the writing at the bottom of the page is not God’s word but mans thoughts about God’s word. Their teaching has led millions to fall from their secure positions. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” So we have been warned already. Cults always have a book in addition to the bible or like the JW’s they change the bible and have additional writings such as the Watchtower Magazine. Their website says, “The Watchtower shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It comforts people with the good news of God’s Kingdom and promotes faith in Jesus Christ.” The Mormons have the book of Mormon. Now these two are cults but churches do the same. They have the bible and then their own distinctive doctrines. Some call it a book of discipline, handbook of doctrine and so on. Each of these extra biblical books gives you the beliefs and doctrines of that certain organization. We believe this; you believe that and so on with each group believing something completely different. There is no Spirit of truth in operation. It doesn’t matter if it is a denomination or an independent, their beliefs will be handed down from somewhere and usually not the bible. You are on the right way when you turn away from your wicked ways. When God moves you, you change your beliefs back to His words.
                We have been warned many times. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Since this has happened in almost every church, the church should be on their knees asking for mercy. Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”
                If we want to return to the Promised Land and stay in the land, we had better do as we are told and stop making our own bibles so they we can continue to go in our own direction. Most people will continue to have their ears itched but as for you, Deuteronomy 11:31 “You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.” It is crucial that we follow God’s word and do as He has commanded. Jesus said Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Deuteronomy 4:2 “Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
                We have great expectation because God said if we seek Him we would find Him. That's means we look to his word not mans word about it. We had better be ready and willing to follow wholeheartedly no matter what. 1 Kings 8:23 “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Yes you will be hated by the world but loved by God. Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”
                So we have been warned. As you wait for the promises of God to unfold, be bold and stand firm on God’s word. Psalm 119:57 “You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. 58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.” I have put my hope in your word! Psalm 145:13 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”