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by Richard Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
August  2004

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The work of God is perfect and the things he has given for the salvation of man are right and cannot be improved upon.  However, Satan has sought to counterfeit everything that the Lord has made to confuse man into accepting the counterfeit instead of the genuine.  Every soul that accepts the counterfeit is kept from the things of God and the salvation he has provided.
Jesus promised, “And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  The Lord built a church, but Satan has counterfeited it.  He inspired men to build others so as to confuse honest souls into not really knowing if they are in the one the Lord built or not.  God gave a law, but Satan counterfeited it so men will think they are obeying God wen they obey the laws growing out of the ecclesiastical assemblies, conventions and synods.  God gave a true system of worship but Satan counterfeited it so men will think they are worshiping God in truth when they accept worship given by denominational leaders.
God has given to us a means by which we can distinguish between the genuine and counterfeit if we wish to do so.  He has made it possible for all men to know the truth and be made free from all sin if they really want to.  Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  But for those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” the Scriptures say, “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).  Some really love the truth and want to be absolutely right in all they do, while others do not want the truth and close their eyes to it.  These will not obey it when it is shown to them.
Man is not to blindly accept everything that is presented in religion, but is to examine it carefully in the light of the Scriptures to know whether it is the Will of God or not.  God said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  Because a thing is taught and practiced by the majority of people does not prove that it is right.  God says, “prove” it.
Everyone should “prove” the church he is a member of to see whether it is the one the Lord built or some other.  Is it the same in name?  Is it the same in organization?  Is it the same regarding the time and place of founding?  Is the church to which you belong the one the Lord added people to in the days of the apostles? (Acts 2:47).  Are the steps of entrance into the one which you belong to the same as the steps of entrance into the Lord’s church we read about in the Bible?  If a person cannot prove each of these points by the Scriptures in regard to the church to which they are a member that person has accepted a counterfeit instead of the genuine and should give it up immediately for the Truth.
God looked around his garden and he found an empty place.
 He then looked down upon this earth and saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest,
 God’s garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best;
He knew that you were suffering, he knew you were in pain..
 He knew that you would never get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb,
 So He closed your weary eyelids, and whispered “Peace Be Thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t go alone,
 For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
(For Lathan, Louise and Phillip in memory of Paula).