Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will
speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech
shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the
tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
We live in a
society today that stresses unity. The preaching of
unity has also entered into the church for the sake
of getting along to get along and not have different
denominations warring and fighting. It is kind of
nice in one way because we Pentecostals are accepted
by the mainstream denominations now and are no
longer considered to be outcasts from the wrong side
of the tracks like we once were. Except for a few
fundamental churches, we are now accepted by most
other faiths including Roman Catholicism. It is
really great to at last be accepted by the main
stream and part of the crowd. No longer are we
considered weird and strange.
Well, is this good or bad?
We hear of the Promise Keepers,
Evangelicals and Catholics together, Rick Warren's
Peace plan and the many ecumenical movements going
on it today's world to unite churches and cause us
to do more things together and hopefully to love one
another. By the way, even the World Council of
Churches has opened their arms to the Pentecostals.
see the large exit of people from mainline
denominations flocking to the Pentecostal mega
churches and they see also the tithes and offerings
going with it. Who knows? We don't know why all the
sudden we are embraced when we were once spoken evil
against almost constantly. One only has to search
old newspapers around the time of the Azusa Street
Revival to see how we were viewed at that time.
Well again, I ask the question
is this new love one another, accept one another
good or bad? Is this leading up to a worldwide
religion with a new world leader that we in the past
have been taught is the Anti-Christ or is this the
fulfillment of what Jesus desired when we asked us
to be one as He and His Father were one?
Sometimes we see new things
coming into our churches that our leaders in the
past would have thrown out before it could enter the
doors. To us who grew up in the old ways, it can get
mighty confusing at times. Which church leaders do
we copy after the old ones or the new ones that are
bringing so much change it is hard to understand or
accept especially in the light of the scriptures
where Jesus said over and over again, "Take heed
that no man deceive you." "Many shall come in my
name, saying I'm am Christ and shall deceive many."
Some He said would attempt to deceive the very
elect. Scary stuff when we see stuff coming into the
churches our church elders use to say was sin.
Actually we never have to be
confused about these things if we search the
scriptures and refuse to forsake sound doctrine. If
we listen to the Lord and search His word, His
doctrine shall drop like rain upon a thirsty soul
seeking Him for direction.
4 we read:
Pro 4:1 Hear, ye children, the
instruction of a father, and attend to know
Pro 4:2 For I give you good
doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
Pro 4:3 For
I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in
the sight of my mother.
Pro 4:4 He
taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart
retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not;
neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love
her, and she shall keep thee.
Then in Isaiah we read:
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he
make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned
from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon
precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a
little, and there a little:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he
speak to this people.
Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This
is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to
rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free.
How do we
know what the truth is? Jesus said that if we
continue in His word, we are His disciples and we
shall know the truth. The word is available now to
all of us. It is sold in every bookstore and it is
in all libraries across the country. We are not only
to read the word but to continue in the word,
thereby becoming knowledgeable of the word and the
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not
mine, but his that sent me.
Joh 7:17 If
any man will do his will, he shall know of the
doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak
Lord's will is another way to know of the doctrine
whether it be of God, or whether He (speaking of
Jesus) is speaking of himself. In our day we can
understand this to mean if we do the Lord's will, we
shall also know whether someone who is speaking is
speaking the word of God or the word of himself. How
do we know the will of God? By studying His word and
continuing it that same word.
Jesus said His sheep shall know
His voice. Sheep follow their master and they do not
know the voice of a stranger. We only have one
master and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the
true head of the church. He is the one with the
authority over the church.
Act 2:41 Then they that gladly
received his word were baptized: and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand
Act 2:42 And they continued
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in
church under the leadership of the apostles received
the word that was preached to them and many were
added to the kingdom of God and then they continued
in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, praying
always and doing the will of God. They had true
unity of spirit and of truth. God gave us two helps
after Jesus left the disciples to go back with His
Father. One helper was the Holy Spirit that abides
within us to teach, to guide, and to convict, to
correct and to cause true biblical unity build upon
sound doctrine. The other helper was the written
word. The Holy Spirit will not contradict the
written word. He will not add to it or take away
from it. God also gives us helpers that can teach,
instruct, exhort but those helpers have to be first
filled with the spirit of God and give full
attention to the written word of God. We must
continue in the sound doctrine of God's word in
order to have true unity.
Any other kind of unity that
causes us to go along to get along glossing over
sound doctrine and replacing it with a watered down
doctrine that brings no correction, conviction of
sin or true born again salvation in order not to
offend is a false unity. Any unity that embraces the
world around us, adopts worldly methods to draw
crowds and makes us more acceptable to the world
around us is a false unity. It is impossible to be
accepted by God and accepted by the world at the
same time. We have to choose one or the other.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye
obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked,
that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed
from the heart that form of doctrine which was
Rom 6:18 Being then made free
from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the
infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your
members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto
iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to
righteousness unto holiness.
Rom 6:20 For
when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from
Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then
in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the
end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But
now being made free from sin, and become servants to
God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We will end
up going to the same place that the one we follow is
going. If we follow Satan we will go where he is
going. If we follow Christ, we will go where He is.
That is the simple gospel. It can't get any plainer
than that. Follow Christ.
Following Christ will also be
following and living by the doctrine that He taught.
Jesus said that if anyone love Him they will keep
His word and His Father will love Him and come to
abide within Him. If we love Him we will keep His
commandments. If we love Him, we will abide in Him
and keep His words. Jesus said that anyone that
loves Him not keeps not His sayings. So which kind
of person are we going to be? Let us follow Christ
not man or not men (woman) who say they represent
Christ but are rejecting the doctrine of Christ.
Sound doctrine goes along with the true gospel of
Jesus Christ. They cannot be separated.
When we speak out against
things we see coming into our churches that seem to
be contrary to the sound doctrine of the word, some
accuse us of being nit pickers, trouble makers and
those that cause division. So let us read the words
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned; and avoid them.
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus
Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and
fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Yes the bible warns against the
trouble makers that cause division but notice it
says the divisions and offenses are contrary to
sound doctrine. There are two ways to cause
division. One way is to try to add to the doctrine
of truth by making commandments that God did not
make, cover and hide the true salvation message by
rituals, commandments of men, ordinances, rules and
regulations that substitute the gospel of Jesus
Christ with another gospel that does not save.
to cause division is to water down the gospel, mix
with the world and seek to gain large crowds. It is
the ones that forsake sound doctrine that are
causing the division not the ones fighting to
contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.
Sometimes if we don't go along
to get along and do things that appeal to the youth
for instance, we may be accused of despising the
youth. I will read that passage:
1Tim 4:12 Let no man despise
thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers,
in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in
faith, in purity. 1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give
attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was
given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the
hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these
things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy
profiting may appear to all.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;
continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both
save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Let us not quote verse 12 and
leave off verse 13 to 16. Concerning the youth, we
are to be an example in word, in conversation, in
charity, in spirit, in faith and in purity. Does
this say we are to do all the things they want to do
and bring things in the church that appeal to the
youth even though it is contrary to sound doctrine?
We are to give attendance to
reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. We are to
continue in them in order to not only save ourselves
but the youth that will hear us as well.
This doesn't say that we are to
bring in fun and games, worldly secular music and
foolishness in order to entertain or attract the
youth. This says the very opposite. Being an example
in word, in conversation (how we talk as will as how
we live), in charity (godly love), in faith and
1Ti 6:3 If
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
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing
nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of
men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,
supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with
contentment is great gain.
part of the sound doctrine taught in the word.
Godliness is the very opposite of what is being
brought into the churches under the banner of unity.
We cannot forsake the doctrine of Christ and the
apostles and please the world around us at the same
time. Let us not copycat other churches, let us seek
the guidance of the teacher. (The Holy Spirit) and
the written word of God.
I heard a
few weeks ago, of someone who found fault with a
local Pentecostal church. When one finds fault with
a Pentecostal church the first thing we may think of
is, are they offended by the speaking of tongues?
Are they offended by holiness standards of living?
No this person who wasn't even considered to be what
we would call a born again Christian, was offended
because she thought that particular Pentecostal
Church had forsaken the right way and was into a lot
of foolishness. She used the word sacrilegious.
Sacrilegious means to misuse sacred things in an
ungodly manner or not having respect for God or His
It seems a
shame when someone who isn't even saved, begins to
point out faults in a church that is supposed to
stand for holy living and respect for God. If we are
going to be criticized as a Pentecostal church, lets
at least be criticized for doing good instead of
1Pe 4:14 If
ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are
ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon
you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your
part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you
suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an
evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
r>1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let
him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come
that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if
it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God?
1P1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the
let our unsaved neighbors see us doing things that
bring reproach upon the gospel we represent by being
a busybody, gossiping, criticizing one another
unjustly, warring, fighting, living contrary to the
sound doctrine of the word or using our believer's
meetings for a lot of stupid nonsense. Let our
speech be always with grace seasoned with salt so
that we are ready to be able to lead people to a
saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have to be
careful that the things we do does not cover up,
water down or distract from the gospel of Jesus
Christ and sound doctrine.
2Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 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;
2Ti 4:4 And
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and
shall be turned unto fables.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the
things which become sound doctrine:
Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but
showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the
doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God
that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously,
and godly, in this present world; r>Tit 2:13 Looking
for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of
the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
2J2John 1:9 Whosoever
transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the
Let's be careful about
following after every fad, gimmick and thing that
comes down the church pike in the name of winning
souls. The Holy Spirit is the only one that can win
a soul to Christ. If someone thinks up a method and
claims it will bring people to Christ, we don't have
to blindly follow them; we too have the Holy Spirit.
Let's wait on Him to bring that witness to our
spirit that what they are doing and bringing in the
church is of God. If our spirit does not bear
witness, it is okay not to go along with everything
that comes along until our spirit does bear witness.
The Holy Spirit is the one to bring true unity. We
do not have to be afraid to search the scriptures,
wait for the Holy Spirit to bear witness and ask
We do not
want to settle for a false unity that goes along to
get along. If Martin Luther had not have complained
about church leadership and the things going on in
the church of that day, there would never have been
any Protestant movement unless someone else paved
If John Wesley had not have
preached holiness and a changed life after true
conversion, we might still be in a dead Protestant
religion that has no power. It is okay to question
church leadership if church leadership is starting
to stray from the sound doctrine of the word of God.
Martin Luther did, John Huss, John Wycliffe, William
Tyndale, Richard Spurling, and even Jesus Christ
preached against errant religious leadership that
existed in their day.
Now we have
people saying, "Touch not mine anointed and do my
prophets no harm," if we dare question things in the
church that appear to be a little ungodly. Search
those scriptures also for those words are in
reference to King David refusing to touch God's
anointed who was King Saul even though King Saul was
backslidden. He refused to lay a hand upon Saul and
harm him physically but David did confront Saul
because of his sin. He stood up to Saul when he
thought Saul was in the wrong. Let us not misuse the
scriptures and think we must go along with ungodly
leadership whether it is secular leadership or
church leadership. If leadership goes wrong we must
keep following Christ and following sound doctrine.
Yet I will close this message
with the words I heard Colin Carter preach once:
"Have discernment but with the heart of God."
While we must stand for the
truth and contend for the faith once delivered to
the saints, we still must love one another using
gentleness and kindness, not evil speaking when
dealing with error. We must not use the precious
word of God as a club to nitpick and find fault with
trivial things that is not worth fusing about. At
the same time we must not get away from seeking and
trusting the Holy Spirit to teach us and bear
witness to all truth. We must trust in His
leadership above all leadership.
trust in His leadership does not mean that we trust
in someone else's claim to being led by the spirit.
Let's wait for God to bring that witness to our
spirit before following a new fad or gimmick. If the
spirit does not bear witness, then we don't have to
give support to any new thing that comes along.
mean we badmouth and despise the ones bringing in
the new things but we can ask questions, pray and
speak out when we think something may be a mistake
yet in the spirit of meekness and love, not "Holier
than thou." There is a right way and a wrong way to
Balance is badly needed and a
return to trusting in the leadership of the Holy
Spirit. That is why God sent Him when Jesus returned
to the Father. Let's wait for the true unity of
spirit and of truth and not settle for a false unity
that pretends to love and go along to get along.
Wait on the Lord and He will direct our paths.
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