5 ways we try to ALTER God’s Word.

5 ways we try to ALTER the word to validate a false belief.


1. We ADD to the word.

2. We LESSEN the word of God.

3. We TWIST the scriptures to fit us.

4. We EXPLAIN away clear scripture.

5. We REJECT plain truths.

1. We ADD to the word.

We ADD to the word like Satan did with Eve.

Genesis 3:4 KJV

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die: (emphasis mine seb)

In our times people try to ADD that same not to Mark 16:16, but the ADD it in different places.

faith alone.

He that believeth and is (NOT) baptized shall be saved;

Baby baptism

He that believeth (NOT) and is baptized shall be saved;


He that believeth (NOT) and is (NOT) baptized shall be saved;


He that believeth and is baptized shall (NOT) be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Jesus said,

Mark 16:16 KJV

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

2. We LESSEN the word of God.

Revelation 22:19 KJV

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.

Some say, “this verse only applies to the book of revelation.”

I say, “so you’re saying God is ok if we take away from other parts of the Bible?”

Look at what Jehoiakim did…

Jeremiah 36:23 KJV

And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.

Deuteronomy 4:2 KJV

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.

Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. [6] Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

No, we cannot ADD nor LESSEN God’s word. His word…

2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

3. We TWIST the scriptures to fit us.

2 Peter 3:16 KJV

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable TWIST, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Psalm 56:5

All day long they twist my words; all their thoughts are on my demise.

Jeremiah 23:36

But refer no more to the burden of the LORD, for each man’s word becomes the burden, so that you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of Hosts, our God.

For example…

People TWIST what Jesus said about the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and make it about themselves.

John 16:13 KJV

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

This was spoken to the Apostles and does not apply to us in the same way.

We are guided by the holy Spirit in as much as we study and understand the written word.

Ephesians 3:3-4 KJV

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

John 20:30-31 KJV

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: [31] But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

We need to see what the context is of each passage. Not every passage is about us.

Let’s stop TWISTING the scriptures to fit us.

4. We EXPLAIN away clear scripture.

This one accepts that passages are God’s word, but somehow they don’t mean what they say. It’s a form of denial.

For example, Mark 16:16 KJV

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Folks will use the second half of the verse to EXPLAIN away the first half, or just deny that those verses are even in the Bible.

Some will come up with an unlikely, implausible scenario to EXPLAIN away the command.

For example; “What if you’re on the way to be baptized but die on the way?”

All this shows is a lack of concern for the commandments of the Lord.

Luke 6:46 KJV

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

John 14:15 KJV

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Ps. The pic is just to match the topic and is not a solicitation.

5. We REJECT plain truths.

For example; Naaman was given plain instruction about how to be cured.

2 Kings 5:10-12 KJV

And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

[11] But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

[12] Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

Another example from Jesus:

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

We do the same thing regarding baptism.

We REJECT it even though it’s clearly taught to be saved by grace through faith.


Is a BURIAL Col 2:12.

ADDS us to the church. Acts 2:41,47

PUTS on Christ. Gal 3:27

TAKES away (washes) or sins. Acts 22:16

It is INTO His death. Rom 6:3-4

SAVES us. 1Pet 3:21; Acts 16:31-33

MADE free from sin, and a new creation through Christ. Rom 6:3-4; 2Cor 5:17.

Can we Trust our COPY of the Bible?

Modified from Manuscript evidence for superior 
New Testament reliability,

Can we Trust the Authenticity of the BIBLE?

One of the criticisms of the Bible is that it has been perverted over the years and we don’t have an accurate copy of the Bible. For our discussion today we’ll focus on the accuracy of the New Testament.

The critics will only offer conjecture as evidence that the Bible is corrupted. However, to know if something is corrupt, one must have an accurate sample by which to compare.

That’s where this article comes in; to show that we do have ancient examples to compare that our newly printed Bibles are accurate to the original.

This article doesn’t attempt to lay out ALL of the evidence for the Authenticity of the Bible. It will focus on the availability of ancient copies dating as far back as the 2nd Century AD.

By just looking at the available COPIES of the New Testament and comparing them, we can be certain of its accuracy. We’ll note the number of copies found so far, the accuracy between those copies, and the earlies dates of those copies.

The bible teaches that early CHRISTIANS made COPIES for themselves and shared them with other CHRISTIANS. “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (Col 4:16). These were circulated, copied, and shared with other Christians, and this during the time of the operation of the Holy Spirit and the lives of the Apostles. Any error was quickly rooted out and destroyed. (cf. 3John 10; 1Cor 4:21; 2Cor 12:20-21)

There exist very OLD copies and very OLD fragments of the New Testament. By comparing all available copies, especially the OLDEST ones, we can assemble a complete translation in our modern language. This is what the translators did in the early part of the 1600’s. The New Testament was penned as late as AD68 or 70. The oldest complete copy of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus which dates to about AD350.

There are OLDER, and nearly complete, copies of the NT. The Codex Vaticanus is dated to around AD325. OLD fragments of nearly complete books of the NT can be traced as far back as AD150, and some as early as AD125. (Bodmer Papyrus, the Gospel of John; John Rylands Fragment of John’s Gospel). Consider this information as you continue to read about other ancient and accepted writings.

Authors such as PLATO (300-400 bc), Aristotle (384BC), and Homer (8th century BC), are accepted despite having very few surviving copies of their works. Homer’s Iliad has only 643 manuscripts. Aristotle only has 49 MSS. Plato only has 263 copies.

Compare these number to the number of copies of the NT. We have well over 5,600 manuscripts (MSS) of the New Testament, not counting copies in other languages (Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Nubian), and not counting the multiple thousands of fragments of individual NT books dating as far back as AD150. Combine these with those copied into other languages and we are approaching 10,000 ancient copies of the NT. Following the rules of authenticity, the New Testament thoroughly passes this test..

Another reason you can trust the authenticity of the New Testament is by the number of YEARS between the writing and the number of copies. Those ancient writers of Plato, Aristotle, and Homer are separated from their copies by over 1,000 years in some cases. The ‘Clarke Plato’, the oldest manuscript for about half the dialogues of Plato, was written by John the Calligrapher in AD895. Homer wrote around 900BC, but the earlies copy of his work dates to 400BC. Aristotle lived in the 4th century BC, yet the earliest copy of his work dates to AD1100.

If scholars agree with the accuracy of those writers, (90% of the manuscripts agree in content), can we not therefore trust the accuracy of the New Testament? All of these copies of the NT, along with the various fragments, agree 99% with each other. If you assembled all of the discrepancies you could fit them on one sheet of a modern Bible. None of the differences changes the meaning of the text or alters anything about how to be saved. Besides, God is able to preserve His word as He says.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1Peter 1:24-25). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24:35).


  • Early Christians made Copies of the originals for personal use and distribution. (Col 4:16)
  • The Oldest copies are more numerous than any other ancient work.
    •  5,600 Manuscripts, Thousands more in other languages, and tens of thousands of fragments of nearly complete books.
  • Plato, Aristotle, and Homer are accepted as accurate despite having fewer copies than the NT and being separated by 400-1,000 years from their original authorship.
  • The copies of the NT were written within 60 years of the original writings, far surpassing the works of other ancient writings.

Just on this information alone, one can trust that we have an accurate copy of the New Testament. Combine this with other evidence, both internal and external, we can be confident that we have God’s word preserved for us today. We CAN know the truth and the truth will set us free. (John 8:32)


What if I Die on the way to BAPTISM?

An objection to BAPTISM is often posed something like this…

“What if a person hears and believes the truth and desires to be baptized, but they get into a car accident and dies on the way to be baptized, will God still save them?”

This is a very emotional appeal to a not very likely scenario. But, since you asked, let us go to scripture and ask some more questions. Can one be saved without Confession, Repentance, or even belief?

Can we be saved without…

BURIAL in Him? Col 2:11-12

Can we be saved without…

ADDED to the church? Acts 2:38-47

APPEAL to God. 1Pet 3:21; Acts 23:16

Can we be saved without…

PUTTING on Christ? Gal 3:27

Can we be saved by…

TRANSGRESSING the command of Christ, (& Apostles)? Luke 6:46; Mark 16:16; 1Cor 14:37; 2Thess 1:7-9

Can we be saved without…

IMMERSION INTO the likeness of His death? Rom 6:3-4

Can we be saved without…

SINS washed away? Acts 22:16; Is not SAVED. 1Pet 3:21

Can we be saved without the urgency to obey at…

MIDNIGHT, MIDDAY, or in the MIDDLE of an INCONVENIENT time? Acts 16:33; 26:28


What if Cornelius had Died before Peter came to him to “tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” (Acts 10:1-6). Would he have been saved? If not, why not? Some will have him be saved based solely on the intent of the heart.

What if the Eunuch died before he heard Jesus Preached to him by Philip (Acts 8:35)? Would he have been saved because of the intent of his heart? He was reading about Jesus in Isaiah.

We must be careful to teach the whole counsel of God. Baptism is essential to salvation, but not the ONLY thing that saves. This is why we read of the urgency of those who hear Jesus being preached. “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36; cf 16:33)


When life EXPIRES. Luke 12:19

When TIME is no more. Jas 4:14

Take TOO long. Acts 26:28

When you suffer brain damage through ACCIDENT, or Disease. Belief is essential to scriptural baptism. Mark 16:16.

When the LORD returns. 1Thess 4:13-18

4 Things we Get when we READ #1

4 things we get when we READ. (Part 1)

READY to give and answer for the HOPE that is in you.

1 Peter 3:15 KJV

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

Ephesians 3:3-4 KJV

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Bonus point…

We will discover the REASON to HOPE.

Romans 15:4

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Where we read we can be READY.

Let’s read the bible through in 2023

Here’s a link to some printable Bible reading Bookmarks.

If you live in the Borger area and would like to study the bible better, we invite you to one of our services with the church of Christ on Franklin and Juniper.

Can you Spot the DIFFERENCES?

Evangelism is a “can you find the differences” game

The difference between…

Your church vs the Lord’s church.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

2Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

What you believe vs what the Bible teaches.

Acts 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

What you did to be “saved” vs what the Bible says to be saved.

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

How you worship vs what the Bible teaches about worship.

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


The difference between what your pastor SAYS vs what the SCRIPTURE SAYS?

2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

(when your pastor “preaches Jesus” would the listeners respond in the same way as the Eunuch?)

The difference between what you PRACTICE vs what the Bible says to PRACTICE?

1Cor 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

The difference between not OBEYING the gospel vs OBEYING the Gospel?

2Thess 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The difference between false TEACHING of me vs the TEACHING (doctrine) of Christ?

2John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

For more study on this topic, click the link to the “we are different” page.

If you live in the Borger area, Would you like help to SPOT the differences and learn about true faith? Contact us and let us know.

Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin & Juniper St church of Christ in Borger Texas.

What is GRACE pt1: it’s a GIFT of God

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

(Eph 2:8)

There should be no doubt that Grace is a GIFT. Unfortunately, there is so much misunderstanding and confusion about Grace. Not because the scriptures are confusing (1Cor 14:33), but because there are so many opinions about it.

GRACE is a wonderful thing and ought to be understood by the faithful to fully appreciate it and to motivate us for better service to God.

This and the next four articles will be dedicated to some aspect of GRACE so we can “grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Peter 3:18)

This first article examines Grace as the GIFT of God as it is called in the passage above.

“…it is the GIFT of God.”

A gift has 2 parties, a Giver and a receiver. Grace is a Gift Given by God & Christ to the world (Titus 2:11). It is also given without merit on the part of the receiver. There is nothing redeeming about man that generated the gift, it was out of the love of God. “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him” (Heb 2:6; cf. Job 7:17; Ps 8:4; 144:3)?

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:11).

This Gift of Grace is pertaining to Salvation for mankind. “For by Grace you are saved through faith…” Another way of saying this is that the opportunity to be saved, the method, the plan, has been given as a Gift to undeserving people (Rom 5:8-10). As we shall see in the following points, NOT EVERYONE WILL PARTICIPATE IN, NOR ACCEPT THE GIFT OF GRACE. 

The Gift of Grace needs to be received (accepted), and it is possible to receive it IN VAIN (which is to try and apply grace on your own terms, without repentance).

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (2Cor 6:1).

Many are confused and deceived because it is taught that the Gift of Grace is given and applied universally. (Universalism is an error that teaches everyone will go to heaven even if it’s against their will, if they’re in unrepentant sins, or even an atheist). While Grace is a Gift for the whole world, not everyone will receive it, or worse, they receive it IN VAIN. To receive it IN VAIN is to make it of none effect.

It must also be noted that the GIFT of Grace may be received, but later one can FALL FROM GRACE.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal 5:4). And you can make it void; “I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought” (Gal 2:21; ASV)

So you see, while GRACE is a GIFT for all, not everyone will receive (accept) it, nor will everyone remain in it.

Finally, it is THROUGH HIS GRACE & THROUGH OUR FAITH that saves.

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:11).

Critics will claim that if there is something a person must do to be saved, even a command from God, then it is no longer a GIFT. What they fail to realize is that God’s Gift of Grace is working THROUGH our faith (trusting belief) in God’s plan, and His Son. To obey God is not earning salvation, it’s trusting in His working THROUGH His Grace.

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col 2:11-12) [emph mine seb].

We see that the Gift of Grace is the opportunity, and the availability of salvation, but it must be received (accepted) in truth, faith, and obedience to God who is giving it and working through it. To believe is to obey as Paul wrote in Romans 10 (often ignored by the faith only crowd). “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report” (Rom 10:16)? Do you see how “obeyed” and “believed” are used inseparably?

The Ephesians were taught about Grace, and they were taught how to receive it, by being baptized into Christ (Acts 19:1-5). Paul would later write to them and say; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7). Baptism is a part of God’s Grace in saving mankind, beginning with the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ (cf. Rom 6:3-4).

Jesus Gives the Gift of Grace through His sacrifice, making a way for all of mankind to be saved if they will believe it and obey it. “For by grace we are saved, it is the Gift of God.”

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper in Borger, Texas.

Roast Duck Soup

A nephew came to see his kindly old uncle from the country and brought a duck. The kindly old uncle was grateful, had the bird cooked, and shared it with his nephew.

A few days later another visitor arrived.

“I am a friend,” he said, “of the man who gave you the duck.”

The kindly old uncle invited him in to some steaming hot duck soup.

Another man came the next day who was a friend of the friend of the nephew. The kind old man sat him down to a bowl of Duck Broth Soup & Rice.

One day there was a knock at the door and a stranger appeared. “I am the friend of the friend of the friend of the man who brought you the duck from the country,” he said.

“Come in,” said the kindly old uncle.

They seated themselves at the table and the kindly old uncle asked his wife to bring the soup.

When the guest tasted it, it seemed to be nothing more than warm water.

“What sort of soup is this?” he asked the Old Man.

“That,” said the kindly old uncle, “is the soup of the soup of the soup of the soup of the duck.”

This is the difference in watering the gospel and watering it down.

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1Cor 3:7).

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal 1:6-10).

4 Excuses to reject God

4 excuses some give for disobedience.

It’s not fair. Gen 3:9-13

I can’t do it. Ex 3:10-4:14

I have a better way. 2King 5:1-14; 1Sam 15:20-23

I’ll do it later. Acts 26:24-29

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

we can RESTORE the New Testament church

Here’s a question almost nobody asks; Is the Lord pleased with so many varied churches teaching contradicting and erroneous doctrines? The answer is self evident.

We ought to seek to RESTORE the New Testament church that Christ built in the first century.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt 16:18

How to continually RESTORE the New Testament church.

  1. RECOGNIZE there are different ones and it is not pleasing to the Lord.
    1. Gal 1:6-10
  2. EXPECT that it can be done. 1Tim 3; Titus 1; Matt 16:18
  3. SEED of the SCRIPTURE is the STANDARD by which we restore. Mark 4:13-20
  4. TRUE JESUS vs fake Jesus. 2Cor 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
  5. ORIGINAL identifying marks of doctrine, organization, and function.
    1. 1John 1:9
  6. RETURN, Restore, Repent. 1Cor 1-5 This was the problem with the church at Corinth. They had become divisive over several issues. “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.”
  7. ESTABLISHED, organized, met. Acts 2:38-47
    1. 1Cor 11:17-34; 16:1-2; Acts 20:7
    2. They worshipped (Sing Acapella, Prayer, Giving, Teaching, & observing the Lord’s death)
    3. They worked together in local congregations (cf. Rom 16:16)
      • Organized with Elders, Deacons, & Saints. (Phil 1:1; 1Tim 3; Titus 1)
    4. The work of these local congregations (congruently with all local congregations) is all about saints…
      • Making Saints. (Matt 28:19)
      • Teaching Saints. (Matt 28:20)
      • Helping needy Saints. (Acts 11:29)

How to TEST the spirits. 1Thess 5:21

1Thess 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. (NKJV)

1John 4:1; 1Thess 5:21

  1. Are they just TROUBLERS? Gal 1:7
  2. Do they EXAMINE the scriptures to see if what is said is true? Act 17:11
  3. Do they SHOW the SCRIPTURES? 2Tim 3:15-17
  4. Do they TAKE TIME with you to teach, learn, or clarify. Like Paul & Aquila, Priscilla at Ephesus. Acts 18:26; 19:9-10