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Maintaining Doctrinal Integrity

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Maintaining Doctrinal Integrity

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Maintaining Doctrinal Integrity

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We should concentrate on understanding proper doctrines and the fundamental teachings of the Bible. Let's make sure when it comes to our own personal lives in dealing with others, that we're honest, truthful and faithful to the teachings of the scriptures.

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It’s very important, and this is important for all of our men who give sermonettes or sermons, that an elder or a local person speaking in a congregation has to be very careful about what we say and how we say it and that goes for all of us. We know that a person in a local congregation cannot change doctrine for the Church. There is a doctrinal process we have. If somebody locally believes that the Church is wrong doctrinally on a point, they have the responsibility to #1 – to talk to their local pastor about it and write it up. If he can’t answer their question, then #2 –it goes to the Regional pastor. If he’s not able to answer it, it goes to the Doctrinal Committee. There’s a Doctrinal subcommittee – one for prophecy, one for doctrine – and they will do the leg work in researching to see what has the Church traditionally taught, is this something that’s right or can we answer it. And then if it has validity, it will go to the Doctrinal Committee. They will discuss it, they will bring it to the full Council and if the Council as a whole thinks it’s legitimate, then it goes to the General Conference of Elders. And the General Conference of Elders, by ¾ majority, have to agree to it and before they do that, it would also go to all the Church for any Church member to give input on it. So you’re not going to slip a doctrinal change in, like the Sabbath – something that major – without a major discussion going on. So we do have to be careful in how we speak, what we say, what we write.

You know, speakers, I do this all the time. I go to our website, on our website we’ve got hundreds of articles, hundreds of sermons, booklets and if I’m going to speak on an area that I’m not real sure what the correct teaching is, I’ll go look it up. I’m not going to read my own idea into, I’ll go look it up, what does the Church teach. Because all of our written material and also supposedly our sermons have gone through a review process. That review process has been signed off on. Anytime I quote a Greek or Hebrew word I always double check, there are all kinds of sources out there. I have the Logos Bible Program, I’ve got somewhere between 2,000-3,000 books on that program. There’s a free Bible program called e-Sword, some of you may have that, it’s got a number of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, different Bibles on it, it’s free, you just go e-Sword and you can find it on the internet and you can download that. There’s several free programs out there, you can just type in “Free Bible Programs” and there will be a number of things that will pop up that you might want to download.

Whenever I am quoting a scripture, I generally will always bring up five different translations to read it in five different translations and if for any reason they disagree, I will then study that scripture to find out why do they disagree, who’s right, which translation is the best. These are things all of us can do and all of us should do when we come to study God’s Word and try to know and prove what is right and what is wrong.

I want you to notice what the scripture says here, let’s begin in 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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. Paul wrote the books of 1 and 2nd Timothy and Titus to young ministers to give them directions on how to pastor, how to handle difficulties, what problems that might come up. In 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version×
I want you to notice:

2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version×
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth .

Now I want you to notice the Bible, the scriptures, are called the Word of truth. John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
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– “ Thy Word is truth .” So the Word, the Bible, is truth, this is what we look to. What is the truth of a matter, you look to the scriptures. We are told to teach what the Bible says, not our own ideas, to rightly divide it. The word here according to Arndt, Gingrich, the Bauer Greek-English Lexicon means “ to plainly cut a path in a straight direction, or, cut a road across country that is forested or otherwise difficult to pass through , in a straight direction .” So when you expound the scripture, you should teach the straight truth of that scripture. Point people in the right direction, remove all the clutter away from it and any wrong ideas and faults, so that the traveler may go directly to his destination. Here’s the Bible, this is what it says, this is how we get there and so you guide, as it says here, it means to guide the Word of truth along a straight path. So you have the scriptures, you go along a straight path and teaching. You teach as you have been taught.

And I’ll show you that that’s Biblical as we go through the sermon. You can’t spread ideas that have not been approved to others, you should go through the proper channels and as I mentioned earlier, there is a proper review process, if it’s something that the Church is wrong in, why not allow the whole Church to find out about it? But you don’t go preach it yourself. Because I’ve heard people stand up and they come up with what I would call a doctrinal baby. You know what a woman does when she gives birth to a baby? She loves that baby, she cherishes that baby, she forgets all the pain and she holds that baby. Well this is what people do doctrinally. They come up with their own little baby and they give birth to it, they cherish it, they love it and it’s very difficult for them to give that doctrinal baby up. But if it’s true, it will stand the test of time, it will stand being reviewed and everybody else will be able to look at it.

You see the ministry has a responsibility to protect the flock, to protect the Church, we do not allow the wolves to come in and to devour the flock. In Titus 1 , notice at the beginning here in verse 10:

Titus 1:10 Titus 1:10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
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For there are many insubordinate …the word insubordinate here means “those who don’t want to be under government or under authority”… both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths …notice… must be stopped …so Paul didn’t say, well we just allow anybody to come in, teach whatever they want to, there’s no big deal, no, he said, if they’re insubordinate and deceivers and idle talkers, you stop them right in their tracks! You don’t allow them to promulgate false ideas to the Church and lead people astray. So their mouths must be stopped… who subvert whole households …and I want you to notice as we go through some of these scriptures that members of the Church believe these individuals. I’ve notice that people come along, doesn’t matter how strange their idea, it seems like there’s always somebody who’s going to believe it, fall for it and be deceived or misled. So they subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not for the sake of dishonest gain.

Now nobody would do that wouldn’t they? For the money? No, nobody would be in it for the money but the Bible indicates that that’s true. You might remember back in, I won’t turn over there but back in Acts 20 when Paul gathered the Ephesian elders together, he said that, “I know that after my departure there will be men who will rise up among you who will lead people astray, there will be those who come in from outside as wolves, who will devour the flock” and he said some will do it for the wrong reasons. And so the same thing is true here, for dishonest gain – they want the money, they’re in it for the money.

Titus 1:12 Titus 1:12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
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One of them, a prophet of their own said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Now what if I said something like that concerning Chattanooga? Paul didn’t mince words, thankfully I don’t think we’re that way, but you know he wasn’t afraid to tell them what they’re problems were and he goes on to say:

Titus 1:13 Titus 1:13This witness is true. Why rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
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This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth . Then he goes on to say:

Titus 1:14 Titus 1:14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
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To the pure, all things are pure …to those who have a pure mind, pure motive, pure thoughts, when they read the Word of God you will be pure, they’re not trying to mislead or defile others… but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. And they profess to know God …they claim they understand the truth and know God… but in works they deny Him …so how do we know whose right and whose wrong? Didn’t Christ say by their works you’ll know? So… by their works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work .

So he clearly showed their mouths must be stopped, he was not going to allow false teaching to be spread in the local congregation. Brethren, we need to know what we believe. Too often I find that maybe we proved things years ago and we tend to forget. You know in the first century there were a lot of false ideas, false concepts, false teachings circulating and it’s no different today. Let’s take a look very quickly, give you a quick survey of some of the false teachings that occurred in the first century. Book of Galatians 1:6 Galatians 1:6I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:
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. Remember Galatia was a region, there were a number of churches in Galatia. He writes this:

Galatians 1:6 Galatians 1:6I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:
American King James Version×
– I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel .

In other words, the gospel of the Kingdom of God is what Paul came preaching, Christ came preaching, somebody else was coming along preaching a different gospel.

Galatians 1:7 Galatians 1:7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
American King James Version×
Which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

And when you look around at the Christian world today, what has been perverted? Grace has been and you look at the subject of grace, total false concept about grace. The law of God has been perverted, you know you don’t have to keep the law of God according to many professing Christians, the Sabbath, the Holy Days, you know, pagan holidays and you can go on and on and you’ll see teachings that have compromised and perverted the true gospel, of how you and I can be born into the family of God. The gospel of the kingdom is about being born into God’s family in the future. Verse 7, he says it’s not another, there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 Galatians 1:8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
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But even if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. And then there is a double curse pronounced. So some were coming to the area of Galatia and preaching a false gospel, perverting the true gospel.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 2 Thessalonians 2:1Now we beseech you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him,
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Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with Him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled either by spirit …in other words, somebody having a vision or a revelation… or by word or by letter, as if from us …now the implication is that there were some who were circulating letters and things around, claiming they came from Paul… as though the day of Christ had come . So there were some who were saying that the Day of Christ, His second return, had already come.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 2 Thessalonians 2:3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
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Let no one deceive you by any means for that Day will not come lest there is a falling away first and (the son of perdition) the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition .

There have been falling aways that have occurred but the son of perdition is yet to be revealed here in the future. The one who will be given so much power by Satan the devil to perform miracles at the end time. So the Day of the Lord, they said, had already come, so it was something in the past and not in the future. Notice Verse 7:

2 Thessalonians 2:7 2 Thessalonians 2:7For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.
American King James Version×
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way .

So notice, there was a mystery. Mystery means something that is hidden, this is a mystery, in Revelation 17 – Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, an abomination of the earth. So it is a religion that teaches lawlessness and so there are days that are kept, ceremonies observed that actually have behind them hidden meanings and so we find that. You know the truth of God is called a mystery also, it’s hidden from the general populous and it’s only revealed to those that God does call.

So there was a mystery of lawlessness, false teaching about whether you should keep the law or not . 1 Corinthians 15:12 1 Corinthians 15:12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
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, notice another false teaching:

1 Corinthians 15:12 1 Corinthians 15:12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
American King James Version×
Now Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

So there were those who did not believe in the resurrection period. No resurrection. So he makes the argument that if there is no resurrection, then Christ is dead and buried and we don’t have a Savior. So there is a resurrection. Now contrast that with 2 Timothy 2:18 2 Timothy 2:18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
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, talking here about Hymenaeus and Philetus. Verse 17 says:

2 Timothy 2:17 2 Timothy 2:17And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
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Their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth …again, Thy Word is truth, so there were those who were teachers who had strayed according to the truth… saying that the resurrection is already passed …so here they were saying there is going to be a resurrection but it’s already happened, so they weren’t looking forward to a time of the resurrection… and they overthrow the faith of some .

So notice again, undermining the faith of true believers, they had different ones who were following them. Now in 1 John 4:1 1 John 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
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we have a philosophy that was known as Docetism or the Docetics.

1 John 4:1 1 John 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
American King James Version×
– Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. And by this you know the spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, but every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. Notice: That Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, is now ready in the world .

The Docetic idea is that Jesus Christ was not God in the flesh, He only appeared like God. Remember when the angels or the God of the Old Testament would appear, He would appear and disappear, well what they said is that Jesus Christ was not born of a woman, He did not grow up as a child into manhood and then die, they said he just only appeared as flesh. That was one Docetic idea, another one was that Jesus was just a human being and the Christ was maybe the spirit of God, however they would want to explain that and when John baptized Jesus in the water, the Christ came down on Him and so now you had Jesus Christ. So when He died on the stake, the Christ went back to God and the Jesus was the one who died, Christ never did. That was their teaching. So you had all of these weird ideas out there and there are several problems with that teaching and according even to the Protestants there is a Jesus, because I can show you in the Bible where it says He was resurrected in Heaven, there is a Christ in heaven. According to the Docetic idea, there’s the holy spirit and there’s the Father. So now you have nothing but confusion.

We understand that that’s a false teaching. Colossians 2:8 Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
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, I covered this here recently, won’t have to spend a lot of time on it. In Colossians 2:8 Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
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you’ll find the book of Colossians focuses on Gnosticism. The Gnostic’s believed that the Bible was not enough, the revelation in the scriptures were not enough, that you needed extra information, special knowledge and that’s what Gnosticism or Gnostic’s means, knowledge. So they had the secret knowledge or the special knowledge.

Colossians 2:8 Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
American King James Version×
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, not according to Christ.

So he was concerned about those coming along with these empty deceits but notice in Verse 9 he clearly demonstrates:

Colossians 2:9 Colossians 2:9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
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For in Him dwells …in Christ… dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily …we don’t need anything else, the Bible and through Christ, we have what we need to know to have salvation… and you are complete in Him …not in some secret knowledge but in Him… who is the head of all principalities and power . Then he goes on to show how there were these false teachers coming in criticizing him in how they kept the Holy Days, Sabbath, new moons and notice Verse 18:

Colossians 2:18 Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
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Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels…

So they were teaching the worship, these false teachers, of angels. Now nobody would worship angels today, would they? What about those who pray to saints? Who use a saint as a mediator and who think that Mary appeared unto them or some saint from heaven appeared and gave them a revelation, these type of things. I mentioned to you before, individuals that I’ve known who have what they called automatic writing; they get up in the morning, they pray and ask their angel to show them, I’m talking about church members, what was going to happen that day and something would take their hand and begin to write and they’d look at it and they would say, O.K., I’m going to have a wreck today, think I’ll stay home. Or, I’m going to earn a lot of money today, whatever. They were actually giving themselves over to the influence of a wrong spirit.

Now Revelation 2 and 3 talk about the seven Churches and all of the problems they had and the false teachings. Go back and read the book of Jude , read 2 Peter 2 – chapters that deal with false teaching. And there would be those who have come along turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, there are all kinds of scriptures that we could turn to.

Now today, the same thing is true, there are a lot of false teachings it seems like every ten, fifteen years there are a whole host of teachings that make their way through the Church. It’s like we have new people and all at once they discover all this “new truth” which is not new truth but false doctrines being recycled, recirculated. Things like sacred names, you have to pronounce the name of Christ in Hebrew or Greek, otherwise you’re sinning. Calendar – they reject the authority of the Jewish body to have perpetuated the calendar or for the Church to decide and there are all kinds of individuals out there now deciding for themselves when the Holy Days occur and the sad thing about it is almost all of them are off on a different direction, they’re all off. So they don’t always keep the same day of the day of the week for the annual Holy Days.

My question to them is simply this: who gave you the authority to decide for the Church which day should be kept? Where did they get their authority? They set themselves up as an authority, new moons, they believe that Jesus Christ was created and not a man, again a Docetic idea, when Jesus Christ will return, all different types of ideas and what day He will return on. Universalism, Messianic Judaism, you could go on and on but you know all of these ideas are out there floating around and every once in a while somebody will get hooked and will leave the Church over one of these ideas. Generally what I’ve found is they don’t come and talk about it, they don’t say, Well, look, I ran across this, what do you think about, is this true, can we sit down and discuss it? They don’t do that, one day we find out they’re no longer with us. Well let’s notice 2 Timothy 4:1 2 Timothy 4:1I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
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:

2 Timothy 4:1 2 Timothy 4:1I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
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I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season, out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching . Remember the word doctrine simply means teaching, the teachings of the Church or the doctrines.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 2 Timothy 4:3-5 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables. 5 But watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.
American King James Version×
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine …the Bible is very clear on that… but according to their own desires …what they desire… because they have itching ears they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth …turned from the truth… and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things …he says.

You know the word “ itching ears ” according to Lonida Bible Lexicon, is an idiom, literally means to “itch with respect to hearing; to have one’s ears tickled by what they hear.” Have you ever been trying to sleep and somebody comes up with a feather and tickles your nose, you know how that goes and you want to grab your nose. Well there are those who want to tickle their ears, they desire to hear what they want to hear, to be desirous of hearing.  They will heap up for themselves teachers since they desire to simply to hear what they want to hear. They don’t want to be corrected, they don’t want to be told what to do, they want teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. Well we find in Ephesians 4:14 Ephesians 4:14That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
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that we’re not to be this way. Notice verse 14:

Ephesians 4:14 Ephesians 4:14That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
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That we should no longer be children …see little children will believe almost anything if they trust their parents – the moon is blue, oh the moon is blue – no, it’s red, oh it’s red. Two and two are twenty; they’ll believe what you tell them. But notice, we’re no longer to be children, not to be children that have a dearth of knowledge and understanding and comprehension, we are to be educated in God’s Word, in His way of life so that we’re no longer like children… who are tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. That’s where we got the title for Larry Walker’s presentation. Every wind of doctrine… that comes along by the trickery of men, in cunning craftiness …a deceitful plotting, to deceive someone is to mislead them, misdirect them… but speaking the truth in love …so you’ve got to speak the truth but it should be done out of love and concern for others… may grow up in all things and to Him who is the head – Christ .

So we’re no longer to be carried about. You and I need to know what we believe; we need to be solid in the scriptures. You know too often I find that maybe at one time, we first came in you know we studied booklets and articles, time goes by, fifteen, twenty years and guess what? It may have been twenty or thirty years since we actually took some of the fundamental doctrines and teachings of the Bible, the scriptures, and studied those thoroughly and that we know that we know that we know what we believe, that there’s no doubt. That we have backbones of steel when it comes to the teachings of the Bible and of God. That if somebody’s trying to bend you or let’s say bend you like putty that you’re like a steel girder, you’re not going to bend. The wind will come, winds of doctrines and everything will come, you’ll stand as straight as an arrow, nothing will be able to shake you because you know what you believe.

I always appreciated my mother for that – many of you knew my mother here, Grace Holladay, she, when the split came in 1995, one of her sons who did not stay with the Church tried to convince her to, you know, you’re only there because of Roy, is the way they put it. And she said, “No I’m not, I proved this when I first came in and I still believe it and if you’re not willing to back off, that’s it.” So they had to back off because she knew what she believed.

Brethren, all of us must know what we believe. The truth must be what motivates us, it must be our passion, our driving force, it should motivate us in everything that we do. Think of it this way. If we worship the Almighty God, which we do, and the Bible reveals He is Almighty and He has revealed His Word, His way of life to us through the scriptures, that’s all we need. This is the way to live and doesn’t matter what man says, we are going to live this way. And it’s the heart that motivates us. So you can agree with something intellectually but it’s the heart that moves a person, that’s where your passions, your desires, motivation come from, if we’re going to do what is right. In 1 Timothy 3:15 1 Timothy 3:15But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
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, to whom do we look to guide us, to direct us, to teach us? Do we look to some individual out here who is off on his own? I’m always amazed that people will go follow somebody, they know nothing about the person, know nothing about his background, know nothing about his other teachings, they know nothing about what his family life is like. But he’s got this interesting one teaching and they want to go follow him and all at once, he becomes the authority and the Church is sort of relegated over here to the sideline. Well notice what 1 Timothy 3:15 1 Timothy 3:15But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
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says:

1 Timothy 3:15 1 Timothy 3:15But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
American King James Version×
But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth .

So where are you likely to find the truth? The ground and the pillar of the truth, what’s in God’s Church. So why do members look to other authorities, so-called, who are not guided by God’s spirit. You know if a person doesn’t have God’s spirit, let’s notice in 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
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, then why would we think that they understand how to live, how to be in God’s kingdom. As it’s reads here:

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. 10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
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– “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His spirit. For the spirit searches all things…for what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God. So God reveals spiritual things to us.

Now you can look at the so-called experts, they may be scholars, they may understand the meaning of Greek and Hebrew, they may understand historical facts, they may understand customs, archeology, things of this nature, but when it comes to doctrine, to teaching the plan of salvation, why were you born, how are we transformed into God’s kingdom, what is the Church, what is man, who is God, what is God’s purpose – you know, what is God doing with mankind? All of these basic fundamental questions of life, they don’t understand them. What does God require of man if he’s going to be in His kingdom? Why is God calling some now and not others. All of these questions, you see these are things that come through revelation of God’s spirit and yes, studying some of these others may help, but that’s not where you’re going to find your source of knowledge. The Church is the pillar and the ground of truth. In 1 Timothy 1:3 1 Timothy 1:3As I sought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
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, now remember again in Acts 20 Paul had said after my departure, grievous wolves will enter in and even from among yourselves, will those rise up to get a following. Well eventually he left Timothy at Ephesus to straighten things out and to help that Church.

1 Timothy 1:3 1 Timothy 1:3As I sought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
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- As I urged you when I went into Macedonia – remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine . So why did he say that? Because there were some who were teaching other doctrine, that’s why.

1 Timothy 1:4-7 1 Timothy 1:4-7 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside to vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
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Nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the command is love…in other words, the purpose of this charge or command is to show love from a pure heart with a good conscience, and with sincere faith, from which some have strayed, turning aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

So those who were trying to teach the law would become Torah teachers who didn’t understand what they were even talking about.

Brethren, we should concentrate on understanding proper doctrine of the Bible, but also the fundamental teachings of the Bible. Can you explain each one of the fundamental teachings? You know we’ve got a booklet that goes through the fundamental teachings; we also have other booklets – as an example, the Sabbath booklet, Holy Day booklets that would go through those. We need to know and know that we know what the Bible teaches on the topic. You know there are several major reasons why doctrine is important and why it’s important to all of us to study doctrine.

Let me just innumerate these for you – two main reasons I’ll cover here:

#1 is to ground ourselves, to ground the members and the basic teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible, that we might be grounded, that we know what we believe. That we’re like a plant that sunk its roots deep into the soil and we’re grounded and nothing is going to make us move. See we base our lives on Biblical teaching. John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
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, Christ said:

John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
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– “ The words that I speak are spirit and they’re life .”

So these words in the Bible, these are spirit words, they’re spiritual principles and they give us life if we live by them. So they’re fundamental spiritual principles. Now too often, again, we tend to neglect this. Do you realize that many of the younger generation have never heard our basic doctrines expounded in a number of case. It’s been 27 years since Herbert Armstrong died. When you think of that, anyone who’s anywhere between 27 and 30 really has no recollection of him. That’s why we believe that we have to carry on teaching the fundamental principles of God’s law, His way of life and those things should not be neglected. I’ve mentioned to you before, 1995, we had a small group in Ft. Myers who were not going along with the teachings as they were being introduced and after about three weeks, I’d already been expelled from the ministry, they asked that I conduct services for them and we agreed, one you find a hall, you pay for the hall, and I don’t want any money, because I didn’t want to start a church, for anyone to look to me. So we did and for several weeks I gave two sermons every week, split sermons, about 50 minutes on the fundamental beliefs and doctrines. And we covered a lot of the things that were undermined at that time. You know I’ve had individuals come up afterwards saying how much they appreciated that because it helped to ground them.

Well we do try to cover doctrine from time to time but that doesn’t mean that you can’t, on your own, study the Bible, study every scripture in the Bible on a topic, use a booklet as a guideline, look up other articles. If you wanted to study the Sabbath, you’d find dozens and dozens of articles on our website that you could study, put the whole picture together.

Many times we forget, if you haven’t studied a particular booklet in twenty years, pick it up, you’d be amazed at what’s in there and we all tend to forget and you go back and you study and it’s amazing, it’s almost like studying it all over again. Notice 1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
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:

1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
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Now the spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons . So notice, latter times – do we live in the latter times? Yes… some will depart from the faith . Have there been people who departed from the faith? Giving heed to deceiving spirits …they become deceived … and doctrines and teachings of demons . Speaking lies in hypocrisy and having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 4:6 1 Timothy 4:6If you put the brothers in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto you have attained.
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If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. So there’s good doctrine, there’s bad teaching and as he said, you carefully follow what was good.

1 Timothy 4:11 1 Timothy 4:11These things command and teach.
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These things command and teach .

1 Timothy 4:13 1 Timothy 4:13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
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Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Or to teaching.

1 Timothy 4:16 1 Timothy 4:16Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you.
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Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine, continue in them …so we’re to take heed to the doctrines, to the teaching… for in doing this, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

So it’s the object of the ministry, he wants to help everyone that he can preach to, teach, talk with, to be in God’s Kingdom, so by doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you. Notice how it’s expressed in Titus 1:9 Titus 1:9Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers.
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:

Titus 1:9 Titus 1:9Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers.
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Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught …so we are to hold fast that faithful word… that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate and idle teachers …which we’ve already covered.

So we’re to hold fast to the faithful word, you know the “faithful word” there means “trustworthy, faithful, dependable, reliable.” Same word that is translated “good and faithful servant.” So that’s the way that we are to be, we’re to exhort, to encourage, convict, show those who are wrong where they’re wrong. In chapter 2:7:

Titus 2:7 Titus 2:7In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing soundness, gravity, sincerity,
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In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility .

Now integrity and doctrine, this is where I got the title for my presentation, Maintaining Doctrinal Integrity, the name of the sermon here. So it shows here that in doctrine, showing integrity or with integrity, reverence, incorruptibility . Integrity means “free from corruptible mixtures or angulations.” If you are baking a cake and you threw something wrong in there, poison or whatever it might be, dirt, you wouldn’t want to eat it. The same thing is true spiritually, when you’re eating the Word of God, you want the straight truth, you don’t want somebody mixing his own ideas and faults and concepts. And we’re to do this with reverence, reverence means “dignity, veneration, modesty, not casually.” It’s something that you lay great importance upon. Incorruptibility means just that, that it, people might corrupt the Word of God but the truth of God is something that will remain. I have people all the time give me a call and say, “Where does your church meet? I’ve been studying the Bible and I’ve found that I should keep the seventh-day Sabbath. I looked on the internet, found that your church keeps the Sabbath, can we come?” I say yes, most never show up, occasionally one will, very seldom do they remain. Why? Because they don’t know anything else about us, all they’ve done is they’ve found out about the Sabbath. Now maybe down the road they’ll find out but the point being, that people, if they’ll study the Bible without a lot of preconceived concepts and ideas, they can see what it says and come to understand.

So the first principle we’ve talked about is that we might be grounded, stabilized in the truth, in God’s way of life . Secondarily, the reason we teach doctrine is for healing and health . For healing and health. We all get sick from time to time, might have a broken bone, health problems, and generally you’ll go to the medical profession and say, “Doc, I think I broke my arm”, or “I’ve got this bad cold, can you help me?” Or we’re sick somewhere and we’re looking for some assistance. Spiritually, all of us need mental healing, spiritual healing, emotional healing, physical healing. Luke 4:18 Luke 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
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, you might remember when Jesus Christ came preaching. His ministry is summarized here:

Luke 4:18 Luke 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
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– “ The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel …the gospel of the kingdom of God… to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted …those who are going through emotional trauma and problems and difficulties… to proclaim liberty …and so on.

So we’ve got to give sound doctrine because it’s only through sound doctrine that spiritual healing can take place. Health giving teaching, health giving is prevention. The ministry is supposed to give a healthy spiritual diet. We shouldn’t be eating fast food when it comes to spiritual truth, you should be eating chateaubriand or some beautiful steak, you know the meat of God’s Word so that you can eat it and you can grow thereby. In 1 Timothy 1:8 1 Timothy 1:8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
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notice:

1 Timothy 1:8 1 Timothy 1:8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
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– We know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person but for the lawless, the insubordinate, for the ungodly, sinner.. and so on.

1 Timothy 1:10 1 Timothy 1:10For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
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For fornicators, sodomites, kidnappers, for liars, perjurers, and if there is anything that is contrary to sound doctrine .

The word “sound” in the Greek means, “sound or healthy, to be sound, physically well.” So you’ve heard of being physically well like your bone heals and you’re sound, or it can refer to being sound, healthy, spiritually. Another – “metaphorically a person is to be sound in the faith, meaning firm, pure and to respect the Christian doctrine” and why? Incorruptible. Another definition this doctrine is called “sound,” hence we get our word hygiene; the word “hygiene” comes from this word because it promotes spiritual health. And one final definition here, “the word ‘sound’ is a medical metaphor that contrasts healthy doctrine with the sickly unhealthy teachings of the heretics.”

So the doctrine that is taught should be sound and pure. Notice Titus 2:1 Titus 2:1But speak you the things which become sound doctrine:
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:

Titus 2:1 Titus 2:1But speak you the things which become sound doctrine:
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As for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine; and that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience

So we are to have sound doctrine, true and pure. In 1 Timothy 6:3 1 Timothy 6:3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
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it says:

1 Timothy 6:3 1 Timothy 6:3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
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If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ , and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words from which come envy, strife, reviling, and suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt mind, destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself .

So we are to listen to wholesome words. What kind of teachings are health-giving teachings? Well what about things such as how to have a happy marriage?  Look at all of the sick marriages in our society, all the divorces that take place, all of the struggles and disputes and arguments that go on between husbands and wife – what does the Bible tell us? It tells us how a man should treat his wife, how a wife should submit to her husband. So it gives us the guidelines.

What about childrearing? Today a lot of people don’t believe in childrearing but we have the responsibility of teaching our children and so that they grow up learning the consequences of disobedience.

The Bible teaches things like work ethics, relationships, prayer, Bible study, diet, fundamental doctrines – you can go on and on. These things are sound and as you fill your mind with them and understand them, they give you a sound minded approach on how to live, how to treat others and what it is that God requires of you, so that you’re not walking down a crooked path and going off this way and that way, but the path has been cut straight and you know exactly how you should live.

See the first century is totally different from our age as far as communication. Today we have instant communication don’t we? We can publish a booklet, a magazine, a sermon and disseminate it to the whole Church, and boom, it’s out there. We have Twitter, we have blogs, people can go on and read other people’s twitters, they become twitter-pated sometimes! News travels fast today. Back in the first century it went by foot, went by boat, went by mule, by donkey, maybe they had a Pony Express or something. So news didn’t just go everywhere all at once, it took a little time. So Paul’s teachings and doctrines spread a little more slowly, but they spread from church to church but eventually they did spread.

Now, people go on the internet and two days later, 5,000 people have looked at a message and they can believe it or whatever. We often ask the question, why did so many leave the faith in ‘95, not endure, many left because they were converted only to head knowledge. They had agreement with an argument, it seemed logical, someone comes along with a more logical thing that might appeal to them or they just got tired of doing what God said and somebody gave them justification so therefore they could leave. But you know when the Bible says that the law is to be written in our minds and our hearts – when it says written in our hearts, that means it becomes our way of life, our motivation, our passion, how we think and how we react to the truth.

One final scripture, Mr. Antion quoted this, let’s notice 2 Timothy 2, we’ll read here beginning in verse 1:

2 Timothy 2:1 2 Timothy 2:1You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
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You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me, among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also .

So many of us attended Ambassador College, and as it says here, “things that you have heard from me” – well we heard, we were instructed, we come out, we pass these on to faithful men and women. And some of those faithful men become teachers, instructors, elders who then do what? They pass it on to others also who then are able to pass it on to others and God’s truth is carried on from generation to generation, in that manner in that way.

So that is the principle that we have applied with ABC, same principle we apply in the Church, that there are those who have been taught and educated who pass it on and so you’ve got a four step – One, you learn, you pass it on to others, they pass it on to others and you have one, two, three, four. Paul to Timothy to faithful men who pass it on to others.

So brethren, we must realize that much is realized in the Bible about doctrinal integrity, so let’s make sure when it comes to our own personal lives in dealing with others, that we’re honest, truthful and faithful to the teachings of the scripture.

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Comments

  • EvanToledo
    This is a great topic! Something that needs more attention in sermons and articles is the difference between THEORIES, SPECULATION AND SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE. For a teaching to be doctrine, it must be clearly taught in the Bible. Back in the Worldwide Church of God days, we were taught MANY things as DOCTRINE that were only THEORIES and SPECULATION. Here's a partial list of those theories and speculative teachings of many years ago: Petra as the place of safety. 19 Year Time Cycles Mr. H.W. Armstrong was the modern day Elijah--and Apostle. All of Mr. H.W. Armstrong's teachings considered revealed knowledge. Strict adherence to "Church Eras" Only weak Christians go through Great Tribulation. One man heads church government at headquarters and rest of organization is a hierarchy. I notice in the latest revision of UCG's Revelation booklet that only verifiable Biblical proof is used in explaining Revelation and leaving out the speculative teachings. This is most welcome, and I am convinced as one of many reasons the Worldwide Church of God went out of business--and why some of the more fringe Churches of God still cling to some of these errors.
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