THIS ARTICLE IS IN NINE PARTS QUOTED FROM THE BOOK OF THE SAME TITLE (available at http://www.freebiblepdf.com/bible.html
PART 1–WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS TEST DOCTRINE?
Haven’t all Christian doctrines been tested and found to be true? Usually, that response comes from the perspective of the denomination a person is following. They trust that they are right and disregard differences as error by those who differ. They agree to disagree.
If all Christian doctrines are true, then why do so many of them disagree about the same things? And why are there so many denominations because of disagreement? According to the Bible, all believers of Jesus Christ should be of one mind and agreement in the power of the Spirit of YHVH. YHVH is not diverse in his understanding and does not teach diversity in understanding his truth. If anything, YHVH is dogmatic and steadfast. I began learning that from the first day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I also began learning how devious Satan is.
Get your notepad out and write all of your questions, observations, and even disagreements, because all of the subjects in this book overlap and intermingle with each other. Things will be repeated from one chapter to help explain something in another chapter. It is difficult to mentally sort it out, at least it was for me when I first started learning these things. False doctrines will argue many points made here, so bear with me to the end, then review your notes and choose how you want to go.
I pray or talk to the Lord every day, but from 1980 to 1995 I prayed daily specifically for YaHavah’s wisdom and understanding. Those were my first years of studying the Bible and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. I was a new Christian and I jumped into the deep end of the pool. Even so, those were the years that my first study/commentary came into existence. It took a lot of soul searching and praying to overcome, not only my own willful independence, but many needless and burdening traditions placed on Christianity and women. Things like: women shouldn’t teach men about Bible doctrine, one should not question the knowledge and authority of Pastors and Theologians, and tread lightly with regard to fresh insights from the Bible. I had a lot of arguments going on in my head that were trying to discourage me from doing what I knew I was called to do. Satan is very good at creating doubt and stifling confidence in the Bible and Christianity.
It took many years, but I had the best mentors of all to bring me through all of those trials. Their names are YaHavah and Jesus. The promises in the Bible about them are true. They are faithful to the faithful and they are encouraging to the wavering and weary.
Even so, Christians have become complacent in that they are not doing what the Bible commands them to do; test the spirit of all things to see if it is from YHVH. Adam didn’t do this when he was tempted, but Jesus did. The Serpent knew that YHVH commanded Adam to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and taunted Adam and Eve with doubt. Adam should have corrected the Enchanter by repeating exactly what YHVH commanded and stood firm on it. Satan tempted Jesus and Jesus responded with the truth and stood firm. That is what testing the spirit is about. Christians need to test the spirit of everything they think, hear, and see before they act on it. Once the habit is formed, it becomes automatic.
Choices and decisions are made every day of a person’s life. To make important decisions one usually researches the reasons to do something or to not do it. That is the responsible human norm. Complacency occurs in a Christian’s spiritual life when he or she allows their spiritual choices to be made for them by someone else; they trust that person or group, very often, in their own ignorance in their lack of Bible knowledge.
Because of complacent ignorance, Christianity is failing to be what YHVH meant it to be through Jesus Christ. Examine the tenets of faith (beliefs concerning Bible doctrine) for each church or church organization, and you will see that complete unity in the Spirit of YHVH does not exist. If there is even one church tenet of faith that disagrees with other churches, there is a major problem. I’ve seen disagreement within disagreement. Yet, these differences are brushed off as if they did not exist followed by the common mantra, agree to disagree, as if agreeing to disagree makes everything right.
Another prominent rule of human understanding is in the negotiability of Bible doctrine. This rule appears to say the only non-negotiable doctrines of faith are (1) the three separate persons of the Trinity in one godhead, (2) the virgin birth of Jesus, (3) that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and (4) that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. All other doctrines are viewed as negotiable. WRONG! There is not one Bible doctrine that is negotiable. Human understanding might be negotiable or compromised, but YHVH’s understanding is not. Usually, item #1 is listed before anything about Jesus.
Every person who writes about or discusses a particular doctrine will provide alternative interpretations of that doctrine. Alternative points of view should be cited to expose error, but never held above Bible references. Very often, the route of least resistance is taken based on current popularity. Sometimes over use of alternative points of view make it difficult to determine exactly what the commentator believes. It is sad to me that truth is often determined by the number who believes a doctrine and the length of time for its existence rather than what the Bible actually teaches.
A Multi-Level Example of Testing
In the first century, Apostle Paul penned two letters to Timothy. In his first letter Paul gave instructions for the administration of the church. His second letter is about spiritual decisions.
Paul profoundly stated in 2Timothy 4:1-5:
1—I charge [you] therefore before YHVH, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2—preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all courage and instruction. 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 [be] watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
In 1John 4:1-6 John wrote:
1—Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of YHVH: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2—By this you know the Spirit of YHVH: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of YHVH: 3—and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is not of YHVH: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now it is in the world.
4—You are of YHVH, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5—They are of the world: therefore, speak they of the world, and the world hears them. 6—We are of YHVH: he that knows YHVH hears us; he that is not of YHVH hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1John 4:2-3 is a perfect example for testing disputed doctrine. How many Bible students really understand the phrase, “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh”? This one phrase has two implications that are clearly defined in the Bible, yet not clearly understood by most Christians.
First, the epithet, Christos, is the Greek word for the Jewish epithet, Messiah. Both mean the anointed one, which is the fulfillment of Daniel 9:24 and Isaiah 11:1-5 that was witnessed at Jesus’ baptism at the beginning of his ministry.
Second, to come in the flesh implies that Jesus was the human Son of YHVH. The Greek word sarx translated to flesh means flesh and bone. If anything else was intended, it would have been included.
In Bible times, it was a common practice to attribute a god status to men of high standing or power. Alexander the Great was called a god. The Roman Caesars were called gods. Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) claimed god status—you may remember him as the Syrian leader who ordered the Jewish Temple to be desecrated with the sacrifice of a pig. Antiochus was the descendant of Seleucus, one of Alexander the Great’s four generals. The status of a god was the Hellenistic pagan way of power.
Today, most theologians interpret came in the flesh to mean Jesus was a god who existed before creation. This interpretation is Hellenism at its highest. Arius (4th century AD), was condemned a heretic by the Catholic Church for saying Jesus is not God. Even today, that condemnation is placed on anyone who says Jesus is not God. Arius’ claims are called Arianism. Today, anyone who says that Jesus is not God is accused of Arianism. But that is a wrong accusation.
Let’s fine tune the reasoning behind Arianism. In the fourth century, Arius stated his belief that Jesus was not God. This part of his statement is correct, though his reasoning for it was not based on the critical exception noted below in bold letters. Arius was pronounced a heretic for saying Jesus was not god because that went against the Trinitarian claim that Jesus is God or an incarnated god. He was pronounced a heretic against the Catholic Church because he blasphemed the Trinity doctrine. However, Arius’ fatal error against YHVH was in stating that Jesus was not the birth son of YHVH, but a mere man lifted up to the status of a son of YHVH. The teachings of Arius are known as Arianism; therefore, to say Jesus is not God with the understanding that Jesus is the one and only begotten son of YHVH is not Arianism.
No implication is made anywhere in the Bible that Jesus was called or claimed to be a god. His accusers called him a blasphemer for claiming to be the promised Son of man.
Matthew 26:62-64 62—And the high priest arose, and said to him, Answer you nothing? What [is it which] these witness against you?
63—But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living Elohim, that you tell us whether you be the Christ, the Son of YHVH. 64—Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65—Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.
Jesus was like every other person born into this world; with one critical exception—being the birth Son of YHVH broke the curse of Adam’s knowledge of good and evil passed on to all humans by every human father. Jesus did not bear Adam’s sin because he had no human father in the line of Adam to pass it on to him. Jesus was born sinless.
Jesus is the Son of YHVH, human, sinless, and anointed in the Spirit of YHVH. These facts are non-negotiable. All four of these truths are well documented and defined in the Bible. The denial of any of these four truths about Jesus is not of YHVH; therefore, denial of these are heresy against YHVH and Jesus.
The truths about Jesus encompassed in the phrase Jesus Christ is come in the flesh puts two very old traditional doctrines to the test and finds them not of YHVH; they are the Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus. Greater explanation of these are in the book, “The Glossary of Bible Terms” for the Word of YHVH Bible.
Agreeing to Agree
People throw clichés around with great ease never realizing what they are actually saying. For instance, the current mantra of Christianity, agree to disagree, is really collaboration to disagree with YHVH by going their own way. While agreeing to agree—in the Spirit of YHVH—is the whole purpose of the Bible. It is the basis of Christianity. In order to agree to agree in the Spirit of YHVH, one must be able to make an educated choice concerning Bible doctrine.
The chapter titles in this series are accusations against the complacency of those who believe in Christianity and claim the Christian title. All who claim the Christian beliefs and title should—must— know how to test doctrines to protect themselves and the truth of the Scriptures.