Many people today are confused by the varied religious teachings. They are exposed to different doctrines and are shocked and dismayed at the differences. Some people become confused and discouraged by all these doctrines, not knowing which is correct, and, thus, lose interest in religion. The Scriptures give much information on this subject.
Jesus taught, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak," (John 12:49-50). Jesus received his teaching from the Father. It did not originate from him. Jesus, praying to the Father, said, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me" (John 17:8). Jesus also said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). When the church was established, the members "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine ..." (Acts 2:42). Notice, Jesus was taught by the Father; then Jesus taught the apostles. The Holy Ghost reminded the apostles of Christ's teaching, and the apostles taught the church. The church followed steadfastly in the apostles' teaching.
Everything was wonderful; everyone followed the apostles teaching; life was great, right? WRONG!! It didn't take long for people to begin to stray. "And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved" (Acts 15:1-2). This caused quite a stir. Paul wrote, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ," (Gal 1:6-7) People were changing the apostles' doctrine even while they were still on the earth. Paul spoke to Timothy, "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1 Tim 1:3) . Everywhere, some were beginning to teach things contrary to the apostles' doctrine. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" (1 Tim 4:1). Again, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,"(2 Tim 3:13).
Warnings are given, "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 Son," (2 John 9). In Thessalonians, we read, "Even he, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause 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 Thess. 2:9-12)
How can you tell a doctrine of a seducing spirit from the apostles' doctrine? READ the Bible!! READ and REREAD the Bible!! Fix in your mind what the Bible teaches. COMPARE what is taught with what you read. FOLLOW THE SCRIPTURES. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," (John 8:31-32). Reject all things which are not taught in the Bible. Don't "think of men above that which is written..." (1 Cor. 4:6). Rt. 1 Box 131, Shock, WV 26638. firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to West Virginia Christian