Doctrine and Spirit Go Hand in Hand: “The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophesy”

Sunday Message on THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.  This series of 3 messages was delivered on Facebook yesterday, repeated here in long form so you can READ and LISTEN.

NOTE:  About the title, it may seem strange to have a title from Revelation to begin this message from Hebrews; however the distortions of the Doctrine of Christ are as much “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”  (I Timothy 4:3,4) as denying marriage for priests and forbidding good meat blessed by God for man’s needs.  Prophesy and preaching in the Bible are almost synonymous and inter-changeable:  when you have bad doctrine, their exist a bad human spirit even as when you have good and sound doctrine there is a good spirit sort of like the famous fiction book “The Good Spirit of Laurel Ridge” versus the bad spirit of the fiction based on fiction of the “Left Behind Series”.  Test the spirits, referring primarily to the spirit of men that are preachers, the Apostle John writes, for many evils spirits are gone out into the world.  From I Corinthians 14 we learn as churches and preachers are forbidden against unknown tongues that prophesy and preaching are about the same, and good preaching includes to exhort, comfort, and edify.  The Testimony of Jesus is the best sound doctrine of the Bible, and the Spirit of Prophesy or preaching is the best sound spirit.  Old Testament Prophets were the preachers of their day, and in spite of being unpopular compare to many preachers today, by and large they were rejected in their doctrines and spirit by God’s people.  Theology tries to replace the foolish nature of preaching as compared to the honor of the wisdom of this world, but buried in the very nature of “prophesy can not in old time by the will of man but by the spirit of God” is not only preaching but prediction, and the OT quotes in the NT explain what the Great Spirit of God the Holy Spirit is communicating, through Bible and through preaching.

A Message on the Doctrine of Christ from the book of Hebrews.

                                                                Part I

Introduction:

NOTE:  Here you can listen to the Message of the Doctrine of Christ Part I along with reading it below the Video of Part I.

The message is on Hebrews chapter 6 verses 1 thru 3, and as Dr. Lee liked to say, Cast your mental tents of the sixth chapter of Hebrews, verse 1 thru 6.

Quote: “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ (principles of the doctrine of Christ in KJV), let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:1-3) AMEN!

I.   But Paul in the rest of Hebrews does not get away from the same doctrine of Christ that he has discussed in Hebrews chapters 1-6, as he cautions others as they move onward and upward not to get away from the doctrine of Christ.

What Paul, and the Holy Spirit through Paul, has discussed in Hebrews 1-6 is how Jesus is the Son of God and how Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Well, he continues to discuss Melchisedec and Jesus the High Priest in the rest of Hebrews. (at least most of it) In fact, Paul’s text for the preaching and teaching and writing of Hebrews is Psalm 110 where both the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the high priesthood ship like Melchisedec are mentioned.

Quote: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool….The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:1,4) AMEN!

LORD in all caps stands for Jehovah God, Lord of Hosts, hosts of Jews and Gentiles, and Lord in little letters stands for the Lord Jesus Christ. To get personal do you know the Lord Jesus Christ, or as Paul says often in Ephesians and others of his 14 New Testament letters, are you “IN CHRIST”, perhaps the youth today might say in their jargon, Are you INTO CHRIST, entailing of course some personal involvement?

Lord in Lord Jesus Christ stands for the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself, the mediator of Creation, and who is ordained by God the Father for every knee in heaven and earth to bow.

Jesus means Jehovah is salvation, His given name, the one born in Bethlehem and raised as a carpenter’s son, the same that preached, taught, and healed on earth in Palestine until age 33 until He under the purpose and direction of God was nailed to the cross for our sins.

Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah, the savior, king, and wounded for our transgressions in Isaiah 53, the same Christ we sing about in Handel’s Messiah.

Well, if you look closely at the book of Hebrews you will notice that Psalm 110:4, about Jesus and Melchisedec, is quoted 9 times in the book of Hebrews. The first time is just before Hebrews 6:1 in Hebrews 5:10; and the other 8 times are in verses and chapters of Hebrews after our text of Hebrews 6:1-3. So far from continuing with new doctrines beyond the doctrines of Christ in the first five chapters, Paul continues to preach and write on the Doctrine of Christ.

2. So the question naturally arises about what does Paul mean about moving on by leaving the Doctrine of Christ?

To answer that question we must compare scripture with scripture in the New Testament, comparing what the Apostle John has to say about the Doctrine of Christ in II John with what Paul in stating here in Hebrews 6:1-3. Here is what we find: The Apostle Paul is saying in effect “Let us move on deeper and upward into the Doctrine of Christ and its implications for Christian Maturity without moving off of the original and fundamental Doctrine of Christ that we have already been established on along with the fundamental and underlying Doctrines like repentance, faith, and judgment. {By the way, and parenthetically, let me say that Paul does not leave behind these underlying doctrines of Christ, also, as he goes on in the chapters of Hebrews after 6:1. In fact, with another reading through the total of Hebrews, I found 47 verses in which the fundamental and underlying doctrines are mentioned, almost half of them after chapter 6.}
But look at “Doctrine of Christ” in II John 7-11 in the Moffatt translation.

Quote: “I say this, because a number of impostors have emerged in the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; that marks the real ‘impostor’ and ‘antichrist.’ Watch yourselves: you must not lose what you have been working for, but gain your full reward. Anyone who is ‘advanced’ and will not remain by the doctrine of Christ, does not possess God: he who remains by the doctrine of Christ possesses both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not admit him to the house–do not even greet him, for he who greets him shares in his wicked work.” (II John 7-11) AMEN!

A short and passing exegesis here before we proceed. (1). The most fundamental of all fundamentals of the Doctrine of Christ is that Christ came in the flesh, that it was this Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ coming in the flesh. John so well stated that for us at the beginning of the Gospel of John.

Quote: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) AMEN!

Before this quote the Apostle John makes it clear that this “Word” was the eternal Son of God, the mediator of Creation, and God Himself. After the quote John makes it clear that this same Word made flesh is Jesus of Nazareth who John the Baptist announced as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
And Paul also labors that point of Jesus as the Son of God come in human flesh in the first five chapters of Hebrews, often before he gets to Jesus and Melchisedec as High Priests. How often does Paul quote God saying and as recorded in the Old Testament, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten you.” (Psalm 2:7) Well, I find it in Hebrews 1:5a; another form of it in Hebrews 1:5b that God will be to Him a Father and Christ will be to Him a Son.” (II Samuel 7:14); in 1:8 Jesus has a throne established forever; in 1:10 Jesus laid the foundations of Creation, and is changeless though these creations will change; and in 1:13 is the quote of the first part of Psalm 110 of his text how God told the Son to sit on His right hand until He made His enemies His footstool. Again in 5:5 it is “You are My Son, today I have begotten you.”
(2). We were commenting on II John 7-11: don’t lose what you have been working for and fail to gain your full reward. This is the equivalent of what Paul is saying in Hebrews 5:11-14, just before 6:1 about they have become dull of hearing, ought to be teachers, have the need to go back over the first oracles, need milk instead of meat; and what Paul states after Hebrews 6:1-3 falling away, or crucifying afresh the Son of God.
(3). Whoever wants to advance in Christian Maturity has to do without building another foundation, the only possible foundation is the Doctrine of Christ.
I like what F.F. Bruce writes here in the NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY.
“The reading goeth onward is to be preferred to transgresseth (Authorized Version). John is here shooting a sharp dart at the ‘advanced’ thinkers of his day. They claimed to be the possessors of a richer fulness of truth than the common herd of believers. Moffat translates: ‘Anyone who is advanced and will not remain by the doctrine of Christ, does not possess God.’ {You see again, a form of godliness without the inward power which leads some church members of the perilous times and beyond that as follies of church members are no longer revealed into the Falling Away.} Growth and advance there must be in the teaching of Christ, as the Spirit of Truth leads us step by step into all the fulness of its meaning and its implications, but to advance beyond the teaching of Christ is to wander about aimlessly in the misty region of unaided human speculation. To do that is to have no longer the only Real God as our God. {religion, or the form of godliness that denies the power therof”} He who abides in the teaching of Christ, as the will-loved home of his soul, has both the Father and the Son, and advances daily to closer and deeper communion with the Father and the Son.”

NOTE:  Of course the great Scot scholar F.F. Bruce in referring the theologians like Darby and Scofield with the “advanced thinkers”.  They advance beyond Christ into the realm of nowhere.  It takes some bad attitudes of exclusive spirits today to support the doctrines of Scofield, ignoring his bad spirit of 6 months in prison for perjury as he tried to con his mother in law out of money for a non-existent property, neglect of his wife and children, and taking profit from Oxford Press to write the Scofield Bible notes.  Some of the outspoken critics of Scofield are members of the Joseph Conference with weird counter views almost as bad as Scofield, have to be taken with a grain of salt, but in doing so disclose some info that otherwise readers might not know.  Here is a quote online from one of them:

In the end, we should all be aware of some ulterior motives that has created Christian Zionism without their knowledge. The ulterior motive is to destroy the gospels altogether and to undermine Jesus’ claim as the Messiah. The hidden motive is to undermine the teachings of Paul and to eliminate the book of Hebrews as Scripture.

This has been a long-term plan by sinister forces that have infiltrated the Church. One of the keys is to know who backed C. I. Scofield and who published the Scofield Reference Bible containing these Dispensationalist views. I did a series about him in 2011.https://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.net/daily-weblogs/2014/06-2014/the-temple-in-ezekiels-prophecy/

NOTICE, that this speaks of a bad and ulterior motive that leads to unsound doctrines on the Messiah, Paul’s 14 NT books, and to wipe out the book of Hebrews.

                          Part II of the Message of the Doctrine of Christ

 

II.  In Order to Get a Proper and Eternal Perspective of the Priesthoods of Jesus and Melchisedec, we must realize that Jesus was the original and Melchisedec was the copy.

1. Perhaps part of our problem in seeing who is the original and who is the copy is in the rendering “after the order of Melchisedec” of the King James Version. As I stated earlier nine times we have Melchisedec mentioned as a type of Jesus Christ as High Priest, and of course, we have the original mention where it is quoted from in Psalm 110:5.
(1). The same God who told Jesus “You are My Son” said to Him “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:6,7) {Notice that in the KJV it is “after the order of Melchisedec”; and also notice in passing that God declared Jesus that type of priest forever.}
(2). It is what the Son of God, the author of eternal salvation of God is called in Hebrews 5:10, “Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”
(3). Jesus is the forerunner of our eternal salvation promise in Hebrews 6:20, “made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
(4). Hebrews 7:1-3 gives us details about the Priesthood and historical background of the Melchisedec of the Old Testament, one detail of which we will come back to in order to show that Melchisedec was the copy of the original High Priest.
[1]. Melchisedec was the King of Salem or Jerusalem, a real King.
[2]. Melchisedec was a High Priest before there was any High Priest in Israel, which you will recall happened years later during the time of Moses and Aaron.
[3]. Melchisedec gave a blessing to Abraham.
[4]. Melchisedec received the tithe from Abraham.
[5]. The genealogy of Melchisedec as far as the historical record of the Bible is concerned is unknown.
[6]. And the important point that I want to discuss later is “made like unto the Son of God”.
(5). Levi, the tribe of the priesthood, payed tithes to Melchisedec in that he was still in the loins of Abraham, Hebrews 7:10.
(6). Hebrews 7:11: why was another priest needed, after the same order of Melchisedec, is perfection could come through the Levitical priesthood which would be called “after the order of Aaron”?
(7). Here in Hebrews 7:15 it really looks like Melchisedec is the original and Jesus is the copy when we read of “after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest”, of course, referring to Jesus.
(8). Again in Hebrews 7:17 there is the quote and how God Himself testifieth that “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
(9). Then Psalm 110:5 is quoted again with the oath from God that He will not repent: “The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Indeed, it looks like Melchisedec is the original and Jesus is the copy. Of course the key to understanding will be in Hebrews 7:3 where Melchisedec is definitely the copy, “but make like unto the Son of God…”
2. Jesus is the Original High Priest and Jesus was the First of the Order of Melchisedec.
You know today how the Roman Catholic have different orders and how those orders establish different monasteries, schools, and universities. Like there is the Order of Benedictine, the Order of Augustine, and so on.
[1]. Besides the wording of the King James Version which is really translated “according to the order of Melchisedec” in the New King James Version, there is the matter of distinguishing between type, anti-type, original, and copy. It is true that Melchisedec was the type of which Jesus was the antitype. Once again as F.F. Bruce writes in his commentary.
“And it is not the type that determines the antitype, but the antitype that determines the type; Jesus in not portrayed after the pattern of Melchisedec, but Melchisedec is “made like unto the Son of God.”
[2]. The same is true of the original tabernacle of the body of Christ, which was the original, established in eternity and the tabernacle of Moses, David, and Solomon were copies.
[3]. Part of the key to understanding is when God told His Son in “the words of Psalm 110: thou art my Son and thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

III.  The Doctrine of Christ in Romans: You Have Obeyed From the Heart that Form of Doctrine to Which You Were Delivered, Romans 6:17.

It is somewhat amazing that the sixth chapter of Romans summarizes the Doctrine given before in the same way that Hebrews 6:1-3 summarizes the Doctrine of Christ given before. And I think that we can legitimately surmise that the “Form of Doctrine” referred to is the same as the Doctrine of Christ of Hebrews 6:1-3 and of II John 7-11. If that is true we will find the same underlying doctrines in Romans chapters 1-6 as those listed in Hebrews 6:1-3 which are repentance…faith…eternal judgment… resurrection from the dead, and etc.
In this message study I hope we can turn around the concept of doctrine as something formal and solely intellectual. Doctrine from the Bible that really counts is “living doctrine”: it is the kind of doctrine of Romans 6:17 that is obeyed from the heart.
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” (Romans 6:17)  NOTE:  Once again it is doctrine from the heart, the spirit and the doctrine!
Even as being a slave of sin is an emotional, volitional, and mental process {you can see where it is life-dominating to be a slave of anything, and to be a slave of sin is to be under the bondage of sin and Satan, also to be controlled by the world since Satan is the prince or ruler of the world}, so also to obey the “form of the doctrine” delivered by the Apostles and Prophets is emotional, volitional, and mental. You can see in Second Timothy 3:1-8 {the church member characteristics of “perilous times” before it fully develops without any revelations of church members follies into the Falling Away of second Timothy 4:1-4}, the “form of godliness” that is the opposite of the form of doctrine from the Apostles. The “form of godliness” without power is fake, mental only, and without any power of God through the Holy Spirit and Christ to really change lives. It is all show for men and no real life-changing experience. In other words church members of the perilous times can still love self more than Christ, love money and mammon more that God, boast of their own accomplishments rather than the achievements of Christ and the real body of Christ, indicate each time at church in pride that self has not died in order that Christ might live through them, blaspheme God and Christ by behavior and attitudes inconsistent with Christ, disobedient to parents and all other Christ and Baptist heritages of the past rather than heed the real teachings of Christ through the Apostles and Prophets, unthankful to God and Christ for what they have instead of expressing real gratitude to God and Christ, unholy in behavior when self expression and self fulfillment is made paramount which is consistent with the culture of the world, unloving in the sense of esteem all other church members better than themselves, unforgiving in their impatience toward pastors with some human frailties although called and placed by God, slanderers of those pastors and teachers who will not comfort their “itching ears”, exhibiting in business meetings a lack of self-control when the “desires of their hearts” are not fulfilled, brutal in their subsequent behavior–quite unlike Christ, and most often without any apology at all as to them the American Democratic Faith is paramount with built-in encouragements for them to equal express themselves compared to a pastor of real Bible teacher, at the bottom line they despise the good, inherently recognizing that they are not among them, and covering up with sheep’s clothing the wolf-like behavior {more the form of godliness that denies God and Christ}, traitors to the real faith of the Bible and the Christ of the Bible, church covenants of the past and the Baptist heritage, headstrong in their determination to have their own way at any cost, haughty about it as they have become completely self centered in the seeking of their own desires, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and if you watch them long enough the dominance of those pleasures over love for God will come out.
Now, once again, even as these perilous times characteristics of church members, are emotional, volitional, and mental–in other words living anti-Christ doctrines, so is the opposite of obeying Christ and the sound form of doctrine is living Christ representative doctrine. It is a form of godliness with power, with Christ and God in the human heart, with Christlikeness the prime motivation, and with a unity of the knowledge of Christ and an arrival at the stature of Christ in the body of Christ. This living doctrine of Christ in the living members of Christ is a sound doctrine that builds up the body of Christ, not simply the man-made organization. The organism becomes and remains paramount over the organization. Growing in Christlikeness takes priority over mere attendance; giving of self under the Lordship of Christ takes precedence over the status of tithing; living in the Word of God by chapters and books takes the place of a “pick-and-choose”, spiritualizing and fundamentalists approach to the Bible {generally here carrying the Bible and defending verbal inspiration takes the place of significant Bible study and knowledge as for example in giving the Scofield Reference Bible priority over the Bible itself}. “Read your Bible, {seriously as every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God}, it will throw a lot of light on the commentaries” {and on the notes in Scofield}.

IV.  Comparison of Romans 1-6, Hebrews 6:1-3, and II John 7-11.

As we generate this comparison in tabular form between these passages in Romans, Hebrews, and Second John, we must be struck with the living nature of the doctrine such as in II John where the Apostle John writes of “he who remains by the doctrine of Christ possesses both the Father and the Son.” You can see how the real, internal possession of the living Father and the living Son, Christ, in the heart is remaining by the “doctrine of Christ” that counts.
Since we have looked at Hebrews 6:1-3 most extensively of the three passages above, let us make it our guideline for a quick study of living doctrine as a Table is formulated.
Quote–
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ (principles of the doctrine of Christ in King James Verson), let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:1-3)
We should in faithfulness to the text of Hebrews 6:1-3 call these in Hebrews “the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ”, knowing full well that we are talking about living doctrine. What are these elementary principles: (1) repentance toward dead works, (2) faith toward God, (3) doctrine of baptisms, (4) laying on of hands, (5) resurrection of the dead, and (6) eternal judgment.

                TABLE 1. Comparison of Hebrews, Romans, and II John on the Living Doctrine of Christ.
elementary principles of the Living Doctrine of Christ in Hebrews 6:1-3 Romans 1-6 II John 7-11 and larger context
1.  repentance toward dead works 2:4–the goodness of God should lead to repentance 5,6–love one another, and love is defined like Jesus did in John 14-16 as to “walk in the commandments of Jesus”
2.  faith toward God 1:16,17 imputed righteousness from God with faith toward God; 4:9–the faith of Abraham toward God was counted to him for righteousness when Abraham believed God would both make of him a great nation and that Christ would come from his lineage 7–confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh to the glory of God the Father

9–abiding {abiding is also living} in the living doctrine of Christ “does not have God”

3.  doctrine of baptisms {both the state of spiritual baptism and the act of water baptism} 6:2–spiritual baptism at the same time as repentance toward God and faith in Christ 9b–”who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son”, this is also the spiritual baptism
4.  laying on of hands I Timothy 4:14 and Acts 8:18, the Spirit getting comfortable in the First Century taking the place of Jesus on earth; that is if the laying on of hands was blessed by the Spirit–it was not automatic as in the case of Simon who offered money for the blessing related to the historical coming of the Holy Spirit to earth to take the place of Jesus, a one time event; and during the Falling Away, the Spirit is withdrawn from the earth.  {could you call this a laying off of hands?}
5.  resurrection of the dead 1:4-Christ’s resurrection a manifestation of the Spirit and power of God

6:5-Christians in the one spiritual baptism like Christ die {repentance from dead works}, and raised from the dead like Christ

none
6.  eternal judgment 2:5,6  living hardness of the heart and living impenitence treasures up wrath for the Day of the LORD and Lord. I John 4:17–we may have boldness in the day of judgment

These are sound Bible words of sound doctrine which I hope that you are constantly hearing from your pulpits and in your Bible classes, or if you are a certified, according to the Bible, Bible teacher are hearing come from your own lips. Words like repentance, are you still hearing about repentance which is both for the unconverted and believers; are you hearing about faith toward God more than the American Democratic Faith and the type of faith in James without appropriate works that the devils have; are you hearing about “doctrines of baptisms”, probably not, since you did not know that there is more than one kind of baptism; have you heard about the laying on of hands and seen it lately; how about the resurrection of the dead, how long has it been since you heard or taught on the resurrection of the dead at the second coming of Christ; and eternal judgment, well…we seldom hear anymore of judgment, eternal or otherwise. {It scares the children!} You will recall that during the Great Reformation in Colonial America, Jonathan Edward preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Immediately, there was revival but within a few years as the perilous times church members turned into “intolerance toward sound doctrine” and won the fight for “itching ears” teachers that would comfort the desires of the church members, Edwards was run off. {This is still happening quarterly in Southern Baptist churches as church members heap out the teachers without itching ears and heap in the teachers with itching ears. It makes you wonder how long we have been in the Falling Away with an intolerance toward sound doctrine.}
1. Repentance in Romans 1-6. {and eternal judgment}
Romans 2:4 tells of how all the goodnesses from God should lead to repentance, such as His riches of patience {how long has God allowed that pet rebellion in your life}, His riches of forbearance {forbearance of a sorrowing on wrong doing that does not lead to repentance}, and His riches of longsuffering {how many years has God through the Spirit suffered with that lawlessness and sin}. And the larger context of Romans 2 starts with the very religious such as the Jewish leaders of the time of Paul and Christ, who in judging others, were condemning themselves. They generally used the Ten Commandments, sort of like the moral majority, as a standard for judgment; of course, interpreting the 10 very legalistically to leave them innocent, without the explanations of Christ about the very meaning: and they were as guilty, and still are, of violating the real meaning of the ten commandments. Even as the goodness of God is a real and living goodness, shown in patience and forbearance, so the repentance must be a weekly and living process in church members that are serious about the doctrine of Christ.
The “judgment” of God is according to truth. God looks on the heart while man looks on the outward appearance, and God sees the real motivation of the heart that the heart is not in the real message of each ten. One example, Jewish leaders and the moral majority rationalize no violation of “thou shalt not kill” although they practice hate in their heart toward others which Christ taught as a real violation of the Ten Commandment; and we could go on and on through each of the ten in the same manner. Obviously this is more living doctrine in Romans 2:6,7 about the eternal judgment of God, because it keeps daily “treasuring up” wrath–a characteristic of something alive and growing, and like the deeds, it renders accordingly.
2. Faith toward God in Romans chapters 1-6.
“Faith” is found 45 times in Romans chapters 1-6, most times in the context it is in terms of the “generic faith” in the sense of “the faith once delivered to the saints” and about faith in Christ. Since Paul in Hebrews has the goal of generating faith in Christ as a cure for the Falling Away, he wants to see among church members a fundamental faith toward God. Even as in Romans 1:16 and 17, it is the Gospel of Christ that reveals the “righteousness of God”, it must also be that the “just shall live by faith”, being a quote from the Old Testament in Habakkuk 2:4 must imply faith toward God. And recall as Paul comes to later in one of the many quotes from the Old Testament that “Abraham believed God” and it was imputed to him for righteousness.
3. The doctrine of “baptisms”.
Using the Greek words, the way YOUNG’s ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE likes to distinguish between the “baptisms” of Hebrews 6:2 as “baptism as an act”, “baptistes; and baptism in Romans 6:4, “we are buried with him by baptism” as a state. {That state is, of course, initial salvation with initial belief.} First comes the state of spiritual baptism into Christ, and then comes the act of water baptism into Christ.} Not to disagree with YOUNG in his strict interpretations, I think Paul in the plural use of “baptisms” meant both spiritual baptism and water baptism. {Of course, Pentecostals try to take a lot of liberty with Scripture by claiming a third kind of baptism, a baptism of the Holy Spirit, neglecting the fact that the baptism with the Spirit is the same spiritual baptism of Romans 6:2. The Apostle Peter distinguishes between water baptism, which since in water is sort of a putting away of the “filth of the flesh” {one does come out of the immersion with water physically cleaner}, but rather with the answer of a good conscience toward God since the spiritual baptism has taken place {First Peter 3:21}. The Apostle John has more to say about water baptism and spiritual baptism in first John 5, first in terms of how Jesus came by water and the Spirit, and then in terms of the three that bear witness on the earth, the Spirit and the water.
4. The doctrine of “laying on of hands”.
Once again from YOUNG’s, the laying on of hands is “krateo”, or to exercise power. It is in the sense of trying to take control of Jesus’ life by taking Him captive, but most of the time, according to the Gospels in John and Matthew, they were not able as it was not yet time as determined by God. The “laying on of hands”, literally translated “putting upon” of epithesis is found only in Hebrews 6:2, Acts 8:18, and First Timothy 4:14. Paul urged Timothy, his own son in the faith, not to forget what happened when the elders of the church laid hands on him: first came a prophecy about the work of Timothy to the church, and then Timothy received a special gift of support and empowerment as the elders laid hands on him. {I think it was obvious in the words that Paul spoke to the elders and the rest of the church about Timothy and his gifts to be an evangelist, that the prophecy or prediction of the future work of Timothy had come initially from Paul, and became recognized, or apparent, to the rest of the church. Timothy was already making “full proof of his ministry”.} In Acts 8:18, which Pentecostals like to claim for their own as a third baptism, the baptism of the spirit, the doctrinal emphasis is really on the “laying on of hands”; and we must remember that this was a once for all time coming of the Holy Spirit in great power and glory, a continuation of the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit came to take the place of Jesus on earth with a continuation for a few years in First Century believers. {The Spirit has already come long ago, so that there should be no more looking for such events, or attempts to simulate such events as do the Pentecostals; in fact, we know, well into the Falling Away, should be looking for the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from earth as Paul predicted in Second Thessalonians. I would be curious to see if the Pentecostals still have the so-called third baptism, that of the Spirit, after the Holy Spirit is withdrawn. There is little doubt that with sanctification, the Bible process of becoming more like Christ each year after initial salvation, the Spirit is given more control over the believer as the believer becomes more dedicated, “sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use”. However, that is a long ways from the pride of the Pentecostals who think they have special power, like Simon, or can get it, to give more of the Spirit with the laying on of their own hands. That is brutal and proud!}
5. The Resurrection of the Dead.
Romans 1:4 and 6:5: the first tells us of the resurrection from the dead of Christ Himself which declared Him in a dramatic way to be the Son of God, because it was done by the Spirit of God and done by God with great power; and the second, 6:5, compares in the spiritual baptism of a believer how in repentance we are united together with Christ in death, and likewise just like Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God, we shall also.
6. Eternal Judgment.
Amazing, we hear less about judgment from our pulpits and Bible classes, and yet it is mentioned in Romans more than the other elementary doctrines: Romans 2:2; 2:3; 5:16; and 11:33. The last is about how unsearchable are the judgments of God reminding you of the twin characteristics of God of unsearchable love and unsearchable judgments.

                      PART III of the Message on the Doctrine of Christ.

V.  What is it to livingly and doctrinally Learn Christ in the sense of Ephesians and Ephesians 4:20 which surely must be the same as obeying the doctrine of Christ from the heart?


How would you feel if a very Apostle of Jesus Christ, in this case the Apostle Paul, walked up to you to question how you have learned Christ in the past? First of all, after observing your behavior and attitudes, perhaps he said, “this is not the way you learned Christ” (Ephesians 4:20); and then he proceeded with the authority of an Apostle Himself as recorded in the Bible to question your salvation, “if indeed you heard Him and were taught by Him.” (Ephesians 4:21). In this last section of the message on the doctrine of Christ, going beyond the few biblical statements of how living like the other Gentiles around you of the world is not the way your learned Christ, we briefly proceed to the second half of the book of Ephesians where Paul elaborates some positive aspects of what it is like to have learned Christ.
1. Walk in unity. Walking is another way the Bible tries to describe the way we live. It is a daily, real, and living thing. It is both behavior and attitudes. At least, Rick Warren is correct is seeking unity in a local church as he urges in his book to protect the unity of the fellowship; but once again he is after the unity of the organization rather than the unity of the organism. The Bible methods of unity as given in Ephesians 4 is: (1) first based on an inherent unity of the Holy Spirit, this comes through the new birth and must be there before any other unity can be built {it is the equivalent of “if you heard Him and were indeed taught of Him”}; (2) churches can promote with bonds of peace this unity which the Spirit gives, and those bonds of peace are the seven ONE’s of Ephesians 4:4-6 {and Rick Warren there are no other bonds possible such a church covenant with attempts to protect the unity of the fellowship at all cost, even to the expulsion of members where personality conflicts with Warren and his staff exist}; (3) for this kind of biblical unity there must be the recognition of the hierarchy of gifts that came from Christ as the authority for the church starts with Christ goes through the Apostles and Prophets, then to the pastors and teachers; (4) and it is through these ministers of Christ that church members come into a unity of the faith {in other words consistent with the teachings of the Bible and with the leadership of the pastors}; (5) all members in the body come to the full measure of the knowledge of Christ {again Learn Christ}; (6) unable to be carried about by every new itching ears winds of doctrine, but centered on Bible truth and speaking Bible truth over own desires.
2. Walk in Love. The challenge of a church member that is Learning Christ is no less than imitating God. Learning Christ is taking the example of the love of Christ seriously, Christ who gave Himself for us. This kind of learning Christ, the only biblically ordained method for learning Christ, eliminates all fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness in the church along with any filthiness, foolish talking, or coarse jesting. {Dirty jokes are out. One of my biggest shocks was as a small church in Arkansas brought into a former pastor as an evangelist-expert on the book of Revelation who told dirty jokes. Who did he learn Christ from?}
3. Walk in the light. There should be no darkness at all in the life and behavior of the disciple who has indeed Learned Christ and is continuing as a disciple to learn Christ. The fruits of the Spirit are all light such as goodness, righteousness, and truth. Show some goodness and graciousness; show some righteousness and good deeds; and show some real truth as it is in Christ.
4. Walk in wisdom. Make straight paths for your feet as Paul writes in Hebrews. Really seek in prayer and subsequently understand what the will of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is your right as a disciple to know and understand the will of Christ and God. “If any man will do God’s will, he will know of the doctrine if it be of God.”
Conclusion: How to Learn Christ as specified by Ephesians 4:21, “hear Him and be taught by Him.”
1. Paul in the book of Ephesians gives us the “how to Learn Christ” clue, the most important thing that you can learn in your life, when he wrote to the church at Ephesus, a church that he had established and where his longest ministry was centered:
“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus…” (Ephesians 4:20,21 NKJV)
(1). Look carefully at these two verses and follow my exegesis. Can you imagine that Paul must tell a church he established that they have not appropriately learned Christ; and we are not talking about simply learning Christ in an intellectual manner. We are talking about them as not learning Christ is the way they acted and lived, and in the manner necessary for salvation. Wow, the Ephesians had the best preacher in the world, next to Jesus, and a long two year ministry, and yet Paul must tell them that they did not learn Christ in the proper manner. {I am sure that Paul learned this from Timothy and other messengers after he was imprisoned, and it much of the basis from writing to Timothy in II Timothy. Also the same subject of not enduring sound doctrine and falling away in First Timothy.}
(2). Paul then questions the salvation of the church members at Ephesus. “if indeed you heard Christ and have been taught personally by Christ.” Wow, can you imagine sitting across from a church member or church members point blank questioning their salvation. “if you are in Christ indeed?”
(3). The really great part about this point blank frankness, and concern, from the Apostle Paul to a church were he had labored so long and hard is that we see in these few words the REAL way to LEARN CHRIST in the fullest sense of salvation.
a. “if indeed you have heard Christ.”; and
b. “if indeed you have been taught by Christ.”
That’s it: that is the whole plan of initial salvation. If you hear Christ like Paul is talking about here, and if you have been taught and become taught by Christ, then you are indeed saved. The inverse is true: if you have not really heard Christ for yourself, and if you have not personally been taught by Christ yourself, then you are not saved. Someone would say, “That is not fair.” How come we are cheated because we are not able to listen to the teachings of Jesus and be personally taught by Jesus as were the Apostles Peter and John and the others. No, that is not what is being discussed by Paul. You see Paul never personally met Jesus like the other Apostles were able to do, but oh yes, Paul did hear Christ and Paul was taught by Christ in an invisible way. {Pardon the word indivisible as I don’t know any other way to describe the way Christ spoke and taught after the Ascension and the assistance of the Holy Spirit: it was and is an invisible work and method!} And now Paul in his writings of Ephesians 4:20,21 and the Apostle John in his writings of John 14 want to share it with YOU.
Let me use John 14 to explain “how” we hear Christ and “how” we are taught by Christ, centered around three questions the disciples asked Jesus, and His answers, as recorded in John 14.
1. Thomas asked Jesus “how can we know the way since we do not know where you are going”. {this is a paraphrase, later I will quote it} Jesus was preparing the first disciples for His crucifixion and Ascension, and the personal loss they would feel from an absence of His companionship and teachings. {even a loss of security}
a. The question from Thomas.
“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way.” (John 14:5)
b. The teachings of Jesus before the question from Thomas that provoked the question from Thomas.
“Let not our heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you.” (John 14:1-6)
[1]. Jesus saw the disciples felt troubled and insecure.
[2]. Jesus knew that they believed in God, and He sought faith, similar faith from them in Himself. He had spent much time telling them and teaching them and showing them the works that supported His claim to be the Son of God, the Savoir of the sins of the world. THAT IS WHAT THE BOOK OF JOHN IS ALL ABOUT, AND IF YOU DO NOT SEE THIS YOU MISS THE MESSAGE OF JOHN!
[3]. “in My Father’s house are many mansions”–perhaps Jesus had not previously made it clear in His teachings about how many vacant mansions were left in His Fathers house. Jesus does now as He teaches there in the Garden before the Crucifixion. {Of course, it has become clear to us as we have just finished the study of the last chapters of the book of Revelation, and we know about the 1500 mile high side of New Jerusalem that houses all the mansions.}
[4]. “if it were not so, I would have told you”–you see this is true about the Father’s house of many mansions, otherwise Jesus would have told us differently.
[5]. Wow, here it gets very personal: “I go to prepare a place for you”. Maybe your mansion needs a little house warming, but Jesus Himself has been there for almost two thousand years supervising the angels as they prepare that mansion for you. You see, it is not just a house or a hut, but a mansion. This is real security!
[6]. Now Jesus says that if He is going to prepare a place for them, He will also provide a mode of transportation for them to get there. It is not easy to get an indivisible mansion in an indivisible house in an indivisible city in an indivisible heaven where the indivisible God lives! Well, the Son of God who mediated the Creation of the world and mediated salvation and presently mediated the confession of our sins before the Father, will come back again and provide transportation as at His Second Coming we meet Him in the air to ever be with Jesus and the Father.
[7]. We want to be where Jesus is, don’t we? We want to be where Jesus is there with the Father, don’t we? Well, “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
[8]. “where I go you know” — TO THE FATHER AND HEAVEN!
[9]. “the way you know” — TO BELIEVE IN JESUS LIKE WE BELIEVE IN GOD. {for us faith may come in both about the same time}
c. THE ANSWER OF JESUS TO THE QUESTION OF THOMAS. Having considered in a the question of Thomas and having considered in b the teachings of Jesus before the question that provoked the question from Thomas, we now have the privilege of hearing the answer from Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.?” (John 14:6) {You want the “way” to God the Father, eternity, and salvation, Jesus said “I am the way”; you want the truth about life, salvation, and all the perplexing religious question, Jesus said, “I am the truth”; you want LIFE, fuller life with God and Christ here on earth and complete eternal life in eternity, Jesus said, “I am the life.”}
2. The second question in John 14, this time asked by Philip.
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” (John 14:8)
Philip is saying just Show us what God is like. Let us see God, and that is all we need. THE ANSWER OF JESUS TO THE QUESTION FROM PHILIP. {Maybe you would get the flow better just to read it for yourself in John 14:1-24, but pray this is a guide for further understanding and reinforcement.}
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has see the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” (John 14:9-11)
(1). Jesus taught the disciples and showed miracles and showed His character and loved them, and He expects that evidence, called “works”, to engender faith. We have engendered faith by reading about those works in John as “Signs for Believing”.
(2). When you see the visible Jesus you are looking at the invisible Father. Anyway Jesus was visible to Philip and He was visible to John as was He visible to Peter and Matthew, and they made Jesus’s life visible to us by writing it down in visible words in a visible book. {This is a simple introduction to Christian Evidences and Christian Apologetics, the classical and voluminous faith enhancing books to prove that Jesus is the Son of God, that God exists, and that the Bible of 66 books that we have is the Word of God.}
(3). Jesus said that He and the Father are in each other, inseparable.
(4). God the Father is the source and authority for all the words from Jesus.
(5). The Father dwelling in Jesus did all the miracles and other works and teachings that came from Jesus while on earth. {By the way, the Father dwelled invisible in Jesus just as the Father and Jesus must dwell invisibly in us as we will see in the answer of Jesus to the third question.}
(6). “BELIEVE ME”, Jesus says: a. that I am in the Father and the Father in ME, or b. Believe ME for the sake of the works recorded in Gospel of John.
3. The third question in John 14, this time from Judas, not Judas Iscariot.
“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” (John 14:22)
Isn’t that where we are today in 2004 and beyond? How can Jesus manifest Himself to us so that we can see Him and yet not be seen by the rest of the world? THE ANSWER OF JESUS TO THE THIRD QUESTION FROM JUDAS. {Finally we are here, this is how to Learn Christ by hearing Him and being taught by Him.}
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
I wish that I could make it more simple than this, for this is salvation, this is how to learn Christ, and this is the reaction from the Apostle Peter {still to be discussed} that we must emulate. {Many times we try to make it too simple and Christ is not really learned. The disciples had approximately three years to listen to the teachings of Jesus, watch Jesus, and develop faith; and still it had come to the point where three of the disciples had to ask the three questions of John 14. I think Jimmy Swaggart is correct on this one subject in effectively calling 40 DAYS OF PURPOSE mediocre and border-line itching ears, to think that you can simply have 13 mechanical steps to becoming a Christian.}
(1). You must keep in the process of loving Jesus. “If anyone loves Me…”
(2). The person that loves Jesus must also keep the teachings of Jesus, and will indeed keep the teachings of Jesus as proof of that love. {Also I might say, as proof that he or she has indeed Learned Christ, or has been “born again” as some so glibly say with their little automatic formulas for salvation.}
(3). God the Father will love the person who loves Jesus and keeps the words of Jesus. {You see here is part of the reason that our little formulas and automatic plans of salvation do not work. We do not control God the Father. His love comes to us as He ordains, and He will love us when we love Jesus and the teachings of Jesus. That is, if He so desires and so ordains.}
(4). Now here is the miracle of this love of God through love of Jesus Christ: God the Father and God the Son will invisibly (This is actually the work of the Spirit of God and of Christ, the Holy Spirit. I wish I had space to discuss it here, but read about the Holy Spirit in the chapter on “Some Sounds of a Sound Faith”, and even here in John 14 where Jesus taught about the work of the Holy Spirit.} come and dwell in the heart of the LOVER and Practicer. This is sometimes called the new birth, but I think this is simpler and more powerful. {The new birth, of course, was taught by Jesus and recorded by John in John 3; but the disciples had been taught that, and still they needed to hear this teaching of Jesus. Much like we also need to hear LEARN CHRIST today.}
“…and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23b)
Now finally THE REACTION from the Apostle Peter that we must seek to emulate. You see that all of this is a very personal and individual matter. Parents can not do it for us; a particular preacher or pastor or church or denomination can not do it for us; a community of believers no matter how persuasive can not do it for us; and this is at the very foundation of “Christ for Individuals”, building on the foundation of Learning Christ and from the Apostles and Prophets.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13 KJV)
“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14 KJV)
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye and I am?” (Matthew 16:15 KJV)
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16 KJV)
Just remember however that this is in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus’s teachings of John 14 are in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, much later than Peter’s confession of faith, supposedly for all the disciples. While this may have worked for Peter, you can see by the three questions in John 14 that it did not work for Thomas, Philip, and Judas. At least it was a good starting point for teaching and after a while in the Garden from Jesus in John 14 the bottom line on the good news of salvation, the Gospel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.