Sunday, November 24, 2013

To Judge Ourselves Part 13 – False Doctrines

To Judge Ourselves
Part 13 – False Doctrines
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We spent the last year looking at what the Book of Acts had to say about the founding, operation and behavior that the Lord expects from us as individuals, and as a church, or congregation of believers.

We then spent a few weeks looking at the letters that Jesus sent to the seven churches in Revelation, telling them where they were going right, and wrong, as well as what the punishments and rewards would be.

A few weeks ago, I took all of those letters, and compiled them into one letter from the Lord, to us.

Our new series will take a look at each of the points Jesus made in that letter, and we will not only examine our church as a whole, but ourselves as individuals.

2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

2 Peter 2:4-10 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge[e] in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."

We have already looked at Jesus speaking to us about hard work, not tolerating wicked people in the church, and testing those who claim to be apostles, but are nothing more than false prophets, and last week we spoke on perseverance, and enduring hardships for His name, Spiritually Rich during times of affliction and poverty, Slander, Not Being Afraid, Where Satan Rules, Faithfulness, Deeds, The Open Door, First Love.

Last week we looked at Repentance and Salvation.

This week we will look at False Doctrines, specifically, the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolatians, which the Lord warns against.

Revelation 2:14-16 (The Warning to Pergamos)
 “I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 

16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."

Both the church at Pergamum and Thyatira were rebuked for following false doctrines.

I.                   THE TEACHING OF BALAAM
a.      Who was Balaam?
                                                             i.      Balaam, a Gentile hireling prophet, (really a soothsayer/magician) had tried to defeat Israel by cursing them. But God caused him to bless them instead.

                                                          ii.      Since he couldn't conquer them through cursing, he conquered them through compromise and corruption by seducing the Israelite men to fornication and intermarriage with pagan Moabite women which led to worshiping their gods. (See Numbers 22-25; 31:16)

b.     What is the false doctrine?
                                                             i.      The most obvious application for us in this is that Christians are not to marry non-Christians (including nominal Christians - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18) but it also means to remain set apart for the purposes of God, not the ways of the world.

                                                          ii.      2 Corinthians 6:14-18 "14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”
17 Therefore,
“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”
18 And,
“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

                                                       iii.      Many Jews and Muslims lose their families when they come to Christ and they need to know they have a Father - the Lord Himself. Idols here, of course, mean not only carved images but any objects which come between the soul and Christ. They could be money or pleasure or fame or material things.

c.      How do we apply this to our lives?
                                                             i.      Marriage - Christians are not to marry non-Christians (including nominal Christians).
1.       (If already married to an unbeliever, this passage does not justify separation or divorce. God's will in such a case is that the marriage relationship should be maintained with a view to the eventual salvation of the unsaved member. (1 Cor. 7:12-16).

                                                          ii.      Friendships - a believer cannot have "spiritual fellowship" with unbelievers and unbelievers should never be our bosom buddies.
                                                       iii.      Business - A Christian should not go into partnership with one who does not know the Lord. 

                                                         iv.      Secret orders - It applies clearly to secret orders or fraternities.

                                                            v.      Church - A faithful follower of Christ would not want to hold membership in a liberal church where unbelievers were knowingly admitted as members. 

                                                         vi.      A Christian should maintain contact with the unsaved in an effort to win them to Christ, but he should never engage in their sinful pleasures or in any of their activities in such a way as to lead them to think he is no different than they.

a.      The teaching of the Nicolaitans has been interpreted differently by various commentators. 
                                                             i.      One possible meaning comes from the meaning of the two words nika, "to conquer" and laos "the people" or "the laity".

                                                          ii.      Another is the teaching for profit, or as the Bible calls it, filthy lucre (money, esp. when regarded as sordid or distasteful or gained in a dishonorable way.)

b.     This may refer to the unbiblical distinction between the clergy and lay people that has greatly diminished the effectiveness of the church in evangelism and discipleship.
                                                             i.      The priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:9) means that all Christians are ministers and are called and gifted by God "for the work of the ministry." (Ephesians 4: 12; 1 Peter 4:10

                                                          ii.      Many Christians abdicate this responsibility to the "professionals" and thus Christianity becomes a "spectator sport".
1.      I actually had someone tell me once it was "my job" to bring people into the church.

                                                       iii.      Vocational Christian workers, missionaries, pastors, etc., are like player coaches called to both train and equip the laity and minister in their own sphere of influence. Yet all of us are called to carry out the Great Commission (evangelism and discipleship) in our network of relationships.

c.      "Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20)

a.      The answer to false teaching?
                                                             i.      Know God's Truth!!!

                                                          ii.       Scripture says that apart from knowing and obeying God's Word we cannot know right from wrong and are susceptible to false teachings/teachers.

                                                       iii.      "For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right.  Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong." (Heb. 5:13-14)

                                                         iv.      "Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance (obedience) of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." (Ezra 7:10)

                                                            v.      "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."(Acts 17:11)

b.     What EXACTLY are the "Doctrines of Christianity"?
                                                             i.      These are the teachings of Christ that are non-negotiable, if you are to call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian), believer.

1.       The Godhead, often called the “Trinity” [i.e., one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) Who is composed of the 3 literal Persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20; Genesis 11:7; Colossians 2:9; Matthew 3:16-17)]

2.       The Godhead became incarnate, i.e., became FLESH in Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3,14; 1st Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9)

3.       Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God (John 3:16)

4.       Christ's deity, i.e., Jesus is Almighty God (John 1:1-3,14; John 10:33; 1st Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:8)

5.      Christ's virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

6.      Jesus' sinless life and perfection (II Corinthians 5:21; 1st Peter 2:21-22; Hebrews 4:15)

7.      Jesus' literal, physical, blood sacrifice for our sins (I Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:12,22-24)

8.       Christ's death, burial and bodily resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

9.      Salvation in Christ Alone! (Acts 4:12; John 3:36; I Timothy 2:5)

10.  Jesus' bodily ascension into Heaven (Acts 1:11)

11.  Jesus' bodily return at the Second Coming (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7)

c.      Not to be confused with the 49 Commands of Christ hand-out
                                                             i.      DOCTRINES are a set of beliefs held and taught by a church which DEFINE WHO WE ARE.

                                                          ii.      The COMMANDS OF CHRIST that the Lord told us to obey, after we have received the Gospel, and are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, DEFINE WHAT WE DO.

                                                       iii.      FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT DEFINE HOW WE BEHAVE.

                                                         iv.      The SPIRITUAL GIFTS give us the ABILITY TO SERVE the Lord.

                                                            v.      And the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD PROTECTS US WHILE WE SERVE HIM.

                                                         vi.      Remember, Faith without deeds/works is DEAD FAITH, and actions without Faith simply make you a philanthropist.

                                                      vii.      A true follower of Christ BELIEVES these doctrines, OBEYS the commands of Christ, and has WORKS/DEEDS worthy of repentance.


Jesus warns the churches in Revelation to REPENT, else He remove their lampstand.

In Revelation 3:3 the Lord says, "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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