Chapter Four: Salvation Sure and Simple | One Book Stands Alone

Modern version changes sometimes seem quite innocent. However, the “modernization” of God’s words can, at other times, constitute heresy. Much of this heresy surrounds the most important truth for a person to understand—that is, the means, mode and method of salvation.

For instance, the word of God plainly teaches that salvation occurs at a point in time in a person’s life after he realizes his lost condition and acknowledges his need for a Saviour. The moment the Saviour is received, the individual is saved! Among other changes, the modern versions distort God’s instantaneous salvation into some sort of gradual salvation occurring over time.

The word of God also teaches that salvation involves no works (Ephesians 2:9, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5, etc.); however, the modern versions alter this truth as well. Rather than teaching salvation by grace, all of the modern versions pervert the Gospel by including works. Though the problems with these versions neither begin nor end with these two critical distortions, these two highly significant issues will be the primary emphasis of this chapter.

As the King James Bible (KJB) is compared to the New International Version (NIV), keep in mind that the changes discussed are not limited solely to the NIV. Because every other modern version relies upon the same corrupt manuscripts, the other contemporary versions also manifest these same heretical alterations.

Modern version producers have rejected the Greek and Hebrew texts accepted as authentic by the churches for over 1,500 years—the same texts used to translate the KJB. Instead, these pseudo-scholars consistently choose to base their changes on the corrupt interpretations provided by the Westcott and Hort Greek Text. Such a basis amounts to a foundation of sinking sand. James White gives the position of the modern version critic quite succinctly. Mr. White lied about the impact on the deity, and now:

The simple fact of the matter is that no textual variants in either the Old or New Testaments in any way, shape, or form materially disrupt or destroy any essential doctrine of the Christian faith.

I have no idea from which planet Mr. White wrote this because it has no basis in reality. Doug Kutilek, another modern day Bible critic, agrees with Mr. White’s assessment, adding “credibility” by finding a single source of support from the early 1900s. He quotes Sir Frederic G. Kenyon. In discussing the differences between the traditional text (KJB text) and the Alexandrian text-types (the modern versions), Kenyon writes:

We may indeed believe that He would not allow His Word to be seriously corrupted, or any part of it essential to man’s salvation to be lost or obscured; but the differences between the rival types of text is not one of doctrine. No fundamental point of doctrine rests upon a disputed reading: and the truths of Christianity are as certainly expressed in the text of Westcott and Hort (all modern versions) as in that of Stephanus (King James Bible). Even advocates and defenders of the supremacy of the Byzantine over the Alexandrian text agree in this assessment.

Of course, I do not agree with the assessments of White, Kutilek, or Kenyon. Kenyon (like many others) failed to see the implications of even seemingly superficial changes that resulted from use of the Wescott and Hort text. Satan does not always deceive by obvious means, easily uncovered. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of examination and comparison. Even in the Garden, that old serpent appeared to be agreeing with the Lord: “Yea hath God said…” Then, he subtly convinced Eve that God didn’t really mean what He actually said. Why change a strategy for deception that has consistently worked so well for 6,000 years?

All of the modern versions follow or have been infected by the heresies of Westcott and Hort and the Alexandrian text types. God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die for our sin, and He reveals these truths primarily through His word. Is this the same word that God impotently allowed to be lost and corrupted? And to add insult to injury, God only reveals these lost truths to the uber-educated so that the rest of the world remains indebted and hostage to them? That is the position of the James Whites of the world that they hold the truths, and we must come to them to truly know God’s word.

Christ Came to Save the Lost . . . or Did He?

As the result of sin, every person born into the world deserves to be separated from true fellowship with God. In fact, Adam’s sin created this schism six thousand years ago, passing it upon all future generations. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12). However, God’s eternal plan from the very beginning provided for the redemption of man.

The Lord Jesus Christ would provide the ultimate sacrifice as payment for our sins—His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. The Bible plainly teaches that He descended from heaven’s glory to save sinners. Since we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), He came to save each and every one of us from the penalty we all deserve—eternal damnation.

(KJB) Luke 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

The Bible emphasizes that Jesus came to save, not to destroy, men’s lives! History reveals that religion has done just the opposite—destroyed much and saved none. Christ came to save from the penalty, or wages, of sin: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). By removing 70 percent of the Luke passage above, the NIV fails to reveal Christ’s mission for becoming a man.

(NIV) Luke 9:55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.

The Bible frequently provides multiple witnesses in order to emphasize important truths. Consequently, another very clear passage concerning the purpose for God’s becoming a man is found in the book of Matthew.

(KJB) Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

One should always be mindful of this great truth and never tire of hearing it repeated. The Lord Jesus Christ came to save the lost! Praise God for this simple truth so noticeably weakened in every modern version on the market. Now read the same verse in the NIV (if you can find it). Verse 11 is given in context with 10-12.

(NIV) Matthew 18:10-12

10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

11

12”What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?

Did you notice that verse eleven is completely omitted in the NIV? Who would not want man to know the purpose of God’s Son coming to earth? Satan, of course! There are many other verses missing in these modern versions, too. For instance, try to locate the following references in modern counterfeit bibles:

Matthew 17:21  

Matthew 23:14

Mark 7:16

Mark 9:44

Mark 9:46

Mark 11:26

Mark 15:28

Luke 17:36

Luke 23:17

John 5:4

Acts 15:34

Acts 24:7

Acts 28:29

Romans 16:24

I John 5:7

 

The list goes on. The first two passages discussed, from Luke and Matthew respectively, showed that Jesus came “to save” sinners and “to save that which was lost.” It should be obvious who is behind these inexcusable omissions. The NIV has destroyed these two truths and put a smile upon Satan’s face.

Later in this study, we will consider another of the missing verses from Acts chapter 8 to further demonstrate the pattern of corruption concerning the doctrine of salvation.

Jesus Christ—the Object of our Belief.

As other verses are compared, a recurring pattern will emerge. For instance, the Bible teaches that salvation comes from simple belief on the Lord Jesus Christ.

(KJB) John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

The object of your belief must be on the Lord Jesus Christ. The modern versions distract the reader and detract from the necessary object/Person of our belief—the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan has always desired worship, to the point of beckoning the Lord to bow down to him (Matthew 4:9). Is it any wonder then that the Devil has eroded the very foundations of this truth? Elimination of these truths remains his ultimate goal. The modern versions are many steps in that direction. Upon whom are you to believe according to the NIV?

(NIV) John 6:47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

He who believes on what or whom? Jesus said to believe “on me.” The Devil wants to decide what you are supposed to believe and in whom you are to believe. If we leave this crucial choice to him, he will eliminate God’s truth so that many more people remain confused, bewildered, and lost. Consider all the religions of the world offering substitute saviors that cannot save.

Salvation—Simple or Difficult?

When all of a person’s physical needs are almost effortlessly satisfied, his spiritual needs can easily be overlooked and ignored. Such is the warning conveyed in the following verse concerning priorities. Those who elevate money above all else have a misplaced trust. Such a person finds it hard to trust in anything but his riches; therefore, he does not recognize his need for Christ.

(KJB) Mark 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

The KJB does not say that salvation is difficult to attain. In fact, it affirms the simplicity that is in Christ (II Corinthians 11:3). Throughout time, Satan has gradually eroded the truth in an effort to achieve his ultimate goal: to completely change the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1:25). The next passage achieves this goal in the NIV by stating that salvation is a hard thing to attain.

(NIV) Mark 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!”

The NIV changes the whole point of the passage. It eliminates the dire warning directed toward those who trust in riches and makes salvation sound difficult to everyone. Do the KJB and the NIV say the same thing? Do they teach the same truths? Obviously not! Salvation is not hard. Man-made religion makes salvation hard. What must you do to be saved?

  • Realize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23).
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins (Romans 5:8).
  • Repent of trusting in anything else to save you (Romans 2:4-5).
  • Accept the free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23).
  • Believe in the Saviour to forgive your sins (Romans 10:9-13).

Plain and simple: One cannot trust in his church membership, his baptism, or his good works to save him. One must simply trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone by believing on Him. You can’t say, “I am trusting in Jesus” and believe that your good works offer any merit for salvation. Anyone so doing has failed to believe solely on the Lord Jesus Christ and is sadly trusting in his own good works to earn that which cannot be merited—heaven’s glory. The Lord Jesus Christ and He alone must be the object of our trust.

(KJB) Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

When a person hears the truth, he must decide whether he will accept this truth over everything else. Once a person repents of trusting in anything other than Christ, a simple heart belief in the payment Christ has made is sufficient to save any lost sinner. The Bible tells us that once we have “believed,” the Spirit of God seals us “unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

These are precious truths no matter how frivolously the modern versions handle them. How does the NIV present these same truths? The NIV states that a person becomes included in Christ by simply hearing the word of truth!

(NIV) Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

What a mess! How confusing! No one is included in Christ by simply hearing the truth. Even the parable of the sower clearly contradicts this teaching. “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” (Mark 4:15). The NIV says you are “included in Christ” by simply hearing the word of truth. This infers that church attendance, faithful viewing of televangelists, or listening to the Bible read online saves a soul. Heresy to say the least!

One must first act upon the truth heard. A person must TRUST in Jesus Christ by believing that He died for his sins. No one is “included in Christ” by simply hearing the truth; such a statement is comparable to claiming to have been born a Christian. No one is born into this world as a Christian. Rather, being born a Christian is a matter of the spiritual rebirth (I Peter 1:23) and a conscious decision to trust Christ when presented with the Gospel.

The message of this verse in the NIV gets even worse. Take note of the second half of the verse mentioning being marked—you were marked in him with a seal.” Christians are not marked, nor must they be concerned about the future mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-17, Revelation 19:20). However, since these modern versions seem to be the end times bibles of choice, this verse could be used by the antichrist to convince people during the Tribulation that those who have taken the Mark of the Beast are the true believers. God’s word never creates confusion because“…God is not the author of confusion…” (I Corinthians 14:33).

Salvation—Before or After Baptism?

The Devil desires to confuse anyone seriously searching for truth. Many times those searching are at a crossroad in their lives. As a result, these individuals are exceptionally vulnerable to satanic attack. Such was the case with the Philippian jailer. After attempting to take his own life, he exclaimed, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The jailer certainly posed his question to the right two men. Paul and Silas responded in unison, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). Don’t let the Devil convince you that you will be included by any other means than trusting in the Lord as Saviour. Many pew sitters have realized that they must act upon what they have heard in order to be saved. Sitting on a pew does not make someone a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes him a car.

Salvation does not come by simply hearing the truth, nor does it come as a result of works or baptism. It comes as a result of believing that Christ died in your place and that you have no hope apart from Him. Acts chapter eight provides one of the clearest examples of the inefficacy of baptism for salvation. Baptism has no power to save. This passage also convincingly demonstrates that baptism follows salvation and is not a part of the Gospel.

(KJB) Acts 8:36 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? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

According to this passage, what hinders a person from being baptized? More precisely, what momentarily delayed the eunuch’s baptism? Of course, the eunuch’s lost spiritual condition initially disqualified him as a candidate for baptism.

We all need to realize, preach, and teach this truth. Peter’s words in the book of Acts express the Gospel in a nutshell when he said, “…we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:11). He did not include baptism as a requirement for salvation, but preached that salvation was all of grace. God plainly separates baptism from the Gospel of the Grace of God in his epistle to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 1:17).

This passage in Acts also proves that babies cannot and should not be baptized since they do not have the knowledge, capabilities, or will to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Church of Christ incorrectly teaches a regenerating power of baptism. They do not like Philip’s answer and wish him to remain silent. Conveniently, because of the modern version deletions, they do not have to face their false teachings. Satan has already silenced Philip for them in the modern perversions.

(NIV) Acts 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

The eunuch’s question is never answered in the NIV. See if you can find it. For that matter, see if you can find verse 37 at all in most any modern version. A new Christian submits to baptism because he is saved, not in order to attain salvation. Any teaching contrary to this truth is heretical. Notice that the NIV’s verse enumeration in this passage reflects that found in the King James Bible; however, verse number 37 is completely skipped. Anyone teaching baptismal regeneration loves this deletion (Deuteronomy 4:2) and Satan revels in the ensuing confusion.

The Gospel & the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Many of the changes to the word of God are so subtle (Genesis 3:1) that they may not be immediately recognizable, nor their full impact understood. The next passage is one such example. The change is subtle, but the ramifications inestimable. The Apostle Paul declares and enumerates the Gospel in this passage.

(KJB) I Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

In this passage, the omission of a single word in the modern versions changes the very meaning of the Gospel. Notice the seemingly insignificant word, how, in bold print in verse three. The inclusion of this one word eliminates the notion that the Gospel of the Grace of God includes only the death, burial, and resurrection without considering the “how” of Jesus’ death. As preachers have failed to account for this one word, some have erroneously taught that the how of Jesus’ death lacks significance. For instance, some discount the necessity of the shedding of blood for the redemption of sins.

One of the most recognizable teachers of this egregious error is John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He has stated that the Lord’s death is important, not His blood. This error is a direct result of not believing in the divine preservation of the King James Bible. Here are segments of a letter he published in 1976 entitled “Not His Bleeding But His Dying.”

It was His death that was efficacious, not His blood. …The gospel in I Corinthians 15:4 hits the issue “Christ died”. …The shedding of blood has nothing to do with bleeding, it simply means death, violent sacrificial death. …Nothing in His human blood saves. …I may add a note on Revelation 1:5, a passage which is confusing in the King James Version. The word “washed” is not correct. The Greek word is “delivered”. …It is not His bleeding that saved me, but His dying. [Emphasis mine]

What makes a man who has been preaching for so many years arrive at these foolish conclusions? The answer is very simple. When a preacher places himself as judge and ultimate authority over God’s perfect word, the light of spiritual illumination dims or darkens completely. Many passages of the Bible prove that it was not the blood of a mere mortal shed on the cross of Calvary. For instance, the book of Acts says: “…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood(Acts 20:28). It was clearly the blood of God shed on Calvary’s cross for you and me!

Seven years after Mr. MacArthur published the previous letter written to one of his church members, Moody Bible Institute published his commentary on the book of Hebrews. After many people publicly questioned his views and stand, his commentary shows that his views had not changed.

It was not Jesus’ physical blood that saves us, but His dying on our behalf, which is symbolized by the shedding of His physical blood. [Emphasis mine]

The King James Bible proves Mr. MacArthur completely wrong when it gives the Gospel in First Corinthians chapter fifteen. In verse one, Paul says he declared the Gospel. He proceeds to tell us what the Gospel is in verses three and four. The “how that Christ died for our sins” is part of that Gospel! However, the modern versions drastically change the Gospel by eliminating one little word—that word is “how.” How that Jesus died is a part of the Gospel that we preach (unless one uses a modern version).

(NIV) I Corinthians 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The modern versions remove this crucial aspect of the Gospel—the how of His death. How that Christ died is part of the Gospel of the Grace of God. In order for a person to receive the Gospel, he must understand what it is. That one little word shifts the emphasis from the simple fact that Christ died and places the emphasis upon the “how” of His death.

How did He die? He died on the cross; He shed His blood; He became sin for us. Each of these particulars is an aspect of the Gospel because of that one little word “how.” Remove this single word, and the whole Gospel changes. We are told that “Every word of God is pure…” (Proverbs 30:5). We are also warned, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it…” (Deuteronomy 4:2). When we ignore the clear teachings and commands from scripture, we open ourselves up to every kind of error and heresy, no matter how popular the personality.

Since we are to spread the Gospel, our preaching is to include the “power of the cross” . . . the how of Jesus’ death. It also must include the blood . . . the how of Jesus’ death. We must declare what the Bible says about why His death can save anyone from eternal damnation. All of these are different facets of the Gospel. He suffered for us; He died for us; He shed His blood for us; He went to hell for us (Acts 2:31). Redemption and the forgiveness of sins come through the blood (shed by God on Calvary’s cross). Salvation is THROUGH THE BLOOD according to verses like that found in the book of Colossians.

(KJB) Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

The how of Jesus’ death is a part of the Gospel. When preachers allege that Jesus could have drowned in the sea for our sins, one should not be surprised since the revisers’ changes have distorted and perverted the truth. Once the Gospel of the Grace of God has been changed, the blood is the next disappear. The Bible says a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). See if you can find the blood in this same verse in the NIV:

(NIV) Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Christian has redemption through Christ’s blood regardless of what the modern versions delete and no matter what the popular preachers profess. Forgiveness of sins is a direct result of our Lord and Saviour’s shedding of His blood. The Bible states that “…without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Anyone that claims otherwise is a heretic.

The false teaching of the “human” blood of Jesus did not begin with people like John MacArthur. During the early church, false teachers were making a distinction between the mortal Jesus and the divine Christ. God lead the Apostle Paul to repeatedly warn of such corruption during the formative years of the church (II Corinthians 2:17). This humanistic philosophy was known as Doceticism. Proponents of this cult taught that Jesus WAS the son of Joseph (Luke 2:33 NIV), but He became deity (Christ) the moment He was baptized by John the Baptist. They taught that He remained deity until the moment He was nailed to the cross. According to this teaching, He lost His deity and became “just Jesus” again.

You might wonder how people could believe such nonsense. People believe error because those who know the truth do not emphatically contest error. The King James Bible says that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

(KJB) I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Satan wants to eventually destroy all association of the divine title “Christ” with its mortal counterpart “Jesus.” Notice the change in the next verse with the removal of one word—Christ.

(NIV) I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

The elimination of the word “Christ” from this verse may appear quite insignificant on the surface until one considers its full implications. The change deliberately diminishes another proof text of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this case, the change attacks the ultimate sacrifice of God—the shedding of His own sinless blood. Thus, the Bible student is missing another convincing proof that the blood of Calvary is more than merely human blood, but rather the cleansing blood of Christ—the anointed one.

Corinthians warns of those who come preaching another Jesus (II Corinthians 11:4). This Jesus of the modern versions, especially those yet to be produced, will hardly reveal the Lord Jesus Christ.

Salvation—a Fact Proven or a Fickle Process.

Since the Bible revisers unabashedly attack the word of God, they do not hesitate to assail the mode God has chosen to propagate His truth—through preaching. God uses preaching to convince the world of sin, judgment, and condemnation, making the lost conscious of their need to be saved.

(KJB) I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Satan will do anything within his power to stop the preaching of the word. Thus, the new versions emphasize the message, rather than the preaching. You can see the results in today’s churches. The power of God is missing because their modern bibles no longer elevate the supreme importance of preaching. Preaching has been replaced by every imaginable program and gimmick. Churches have diminished the importance of preaching because modern versions, like the NIV, have de-emphasized preaching and in many cases eliminated it completely.

(NIV) I Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

In this passage, the NIV not only eliminates preaching, but also communicates salvation as a process. Rather than stating that Christians are saved, the NIV changes the verse to read that Christians are being saved. Are you saved, or are you being saved? Every true Bible believing child of God knows that no legitimate Bible teaches any type of progressive salvation. The NIV ridicules the message preached three verses later (verse 21) by referring to the foolishness of what is preached. What part of the preaching do you suppose this verse in the NIV could be referring to as foolish: the blood, the cross, the Saviour, etc.? No doubt this verse might appropriately apply to what is being preached in many of the modern pseudo-churches.

As we have seen, God’s righteousness is not something deserved, nor an outcome of one’s personal effort or work. At the moment of salvation, an individual becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17) by being made the righteousness of God. God makes the lost sinner righteous (John 1:3).

(KJB) II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God’s righteousness is applied to a person instantaneously and completely, apart from any “righteous work” done by that person. The Christian is not “becoming” righteous through exertion of some personal effort. He is made righteous by God and cannot become righteous by any other means. Salvation is all of God. A person plays no part in the work of salvation, except to submit his will to that of the Father. One must only believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved, along with repenting of trusting anything else. All of the work of salvation was finished on the cross of Calvary… not so according to the NIV.

(NIV) II Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Verses from the NIV again make salvation a process. It would be sad to know how many people have remained lost and confused because of the contradictory teachings promulgated by these modern versions.

Another example of progressive salvation propagated by these modern versions occurs in the book of Acts. During the early Acts period, the Apostles became concerned about the many conflicting instructions given to the Gentiles by converted Jews. The Apostles wrote a letter to address some delicate issues. It was addressed to some saved Gentiles who had “turned to God” instructing them on how to be more effective in reaching the Jews.

(KJB) Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

These saved Gentiles heard from far too many chiefs instructing them concerning some man-made rules following salvation. Remember that these early believers did not have the luxury of simply opening the Bible to determine how to carry out the will of God. Instead, the Apostles instructed them in writing regarding how to maintain a good testimony for the sake of the Jews in their city. The Gentiles were instructed to abstain from certain things particularly offensive to the Jews in order to be an effective witness to them. The main point to realize is that these instructions for Christian service were directed toward saved people… not so if you read the same passage in the NIV.

(NIV) Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

Instructions on how to live godly are never given to someone “turning to God.” Telling a lost person how to live godly clouds the issue of salvation. In the NIV, the letter written by the Apostles is no longer addressed to those who have turned to God (past tense), but instead, to the Gentiles who are turning to God (present tense). As a result, the letter is transformed from one that instructs regarding Christian testimony, to one that recommends works to be done by the lost—presumably for their salvation! Confusion!

Hopefully, one more nail in the coffin will suffice to bury these modern versions with their false teachings. Another verse teaching progressive salvation is found in Second Corinthians. The true Bible believer knows that he is either saved or lost. God leaves no middle ground, and salvation has never occurred over a period of time.

(KJB) II Corinthians 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

The NIV?

(NIV) II Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

According to the NIV, the man used by God to pen more books of the Bible than anyone else was not even assured of his salvation. The NIV says “we…who are being saved.” This verse identifies the penman of Second Corinthians (Paul) as one of those who is being saved. Is it any wonder so many Christians struggle with the assurance of their salvation when reading verses from these modern versions? They offer no assurance.

Pulpits have lost their effectiveness because of the perversion of truth. The preacher may preach and teach salvation by grace and eternal security of the believer, but the modern versions confuse the reader by not conveying these same truths. And we know that “…God is not the author of confusion…” (I Corinthians 14:33). God is not the author of these modern versions either! Many other verses in the modern versions teach this same heresy.

Will Christ Disown His Children?

Some point to the next verse in the King James Bible as “proof” that it teaches that one can lose his salvation too. However, the context of any verse always determines its meaning. The context of this passage deals with a Christian’s future reign with Christ as a reward for his suffering for Christ while on this earth.

(KJB) II Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Just as God promises a future reign to those who suffer, He denies a reign to all those who refuse to live godly and thereby avoid any type of suffering. “If we deny him” (by refusing to suffer loss for Christ), he also will deny us (a reign). The verse does not mean, nor does it say, that the Lord will somehow deny the child of God a place in heaven. Remember, context always determines the meaning of a passage. The NIV says:

(NIV) II Timothy 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

Notice that the NIV changes suffer to endure, thus eliminating the possibility of the most basic Bible study tool—the cross-reference word search. Further, by choosing the word endure, this passage in Timothy aligns itself with passages such as Matthew 24:13 and Mark 13:13, which are applicable to individuals living during the Tribulation.

Although the change to the first part of this verse is terrible, the second part of the passage gets even worse. The NIV states that a Christian who disowns the Lord will be disowned by Him. The Lord will never disown one of His own even if he or she becomes disillusioned! If you are saved, you are a child of God; He simply cannot disown you. The comedy of errors gets even more pathetic when reading the very next verse in the NIV.

13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Verse twelve says He will disown the Christian and the very next verse states that He cannot disown him because He would be disowning Himself! Do you get it? At least verse thirteen speaks the truth, but it surely contradicts the preceding verse in the NIV. The Lord cannot disown a Christian because to do so would mean that a member of the Body of Christ would be lost (I Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:30). The true statement in verse thirteen contradicts the previous false statement concerning disownment found in verse twelve, and resulting in satanic confusion for the reader. The saying comes to mind, “he who sets out to deceive will be deceived.” (See Jacob in the Old Testament.)

Must We Confess or Simply Acknowledge?

Satan always muddies the waters. He does not want people to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). With this truth of the need to confess in mind, read the next passage concerning discerning the spirits.

(KJB) I John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

We are commanded to try the spirits (I John 4:1) to see if they are of God. If a spirit does not confess that Jesus is come in the flesh, he is not of God. Look at this satanic change! Confess is changed to simply acknowledge.

(NIV) I John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

The wicked spirits that we read about in Jesus’ day had no problem acknowledging that the Son of God had come in the flesh. For instance, the two possessed men that came out of the tombs “…cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). They each acknowledged Him, but did not confess Him. The difference can be more clearly seen when considering the difference between acknowledging and confessing a crime. There is much more personal involvement in and identification with confessing to a crime versus acknowledging a crime that took place.

A person may acknowledge Jesus as having existed, and yet simultaneously fail to confess Him as Saviour. The difference between confessing and acknowledging is the difference between believing on Him and simply admitting that He existed. The evil spirits have no problem acknowledging that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They certainly acknowledged Him by recognizing Him as the Son of God. However, they will be tormented (in hell—Luke 16) one day because they refuse to believe upon and accept Him and, therefore, do not confess Him.

Final Thoughts—The New King James Version.

The focal point of this study is the New International Version; however, the other versions are just as harmful. We will look at a few passages in the New King James Version to prove this point, although many others could be included too.

(KJB) Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The KJB says narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life. The NKJV deliberately changes narrow to difficult, thus making salvation seem a hard thing to attain.

(NKJV) Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

This change contradicts the plain teaching of scripture and contributes to the strong biases many have against the simplicity of salvation. Religion remains Satan’s most effective tool to control the masses. His most effective method is to create a difficult system for salvation supported by the changes in the modern versions. The New King James Version is just as confusing about these matters as the other modern versions. However, it is subtler because it does not make the magnitude of changes its modern version counterparts do, thereby making it more acceptable to some Christians. The Bible says that the resurrection is part of the Gospel. Without it we would not have a living Saviour, seated at the right hand of God.

(KJB) Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

The Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected so that we may be justified. His resurrection is instrumental for our justification. Praise God! Notice how confusing the NKJV makes this simple truth.

(NKJV) Romans 4:25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Dr. Mickey Carter analyzes the changes: “When the NKJV says that the Lord was raised because of our justification it sounds like we paid for our own sin and guilt which caused Christ to be raised again.”

Hopefully, this short study has assisted the student of God’s word in realizing that the modern versions have contributed to the heresies of man. Many of these revisions attack the very fabric of everything Christians hold sacred. For instance, the NIV completely removes Calvary from the text of the Bible (Luke 23:33).

It does not matter whether you choose the NIV, NASV, Living Bible, or any other modern version. The foundation of each of these is corrupt. All of the modern versions are built upon the same corrupt sinking-sand foundation. The Bible says, Blessed is he that readeth…” (Revelation 1:3). One can be blessed by simply reading the Bible, but it does matter which bible one chooses. The blessings do not come from picking up one’s favorite version. They come from reading God’s book and God only wrote one book!