From the halls of Christian academia to the seats of every church sanctuary, many different beliefs, theologies, and ideologies influence the understanding and wisdom of leaders instructing the congregants of church buildings. These may be called doctrines, church bylaws, theologies, or dogma. Because of these things, the church body has been greatly divided into thousands of denominations and divisions of religion. But was this God’s plan?
If they hold to these different doctrines, as we may call them, how can they all teach the truth of the Gospel? Since the Spirit of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Father are one, and He does not change. There is only one Spirit of Truth, of certainty and never ambiguity.
For the Lord Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.” John 14:16-17
Be certain of this; God is not divided. But He is one in spirit, thought, mind, understanding, and instruction. If God gave every leader the Spirit of Truth, there would be no division. But in fact, He does not give the Spirit of the Truth to every Pastor, professor, teacher, or person in leadership. Those who cause division and separation and speak by their own ideas and understanding are walking by another spirit, the spirit of falsehood, which comes from the Devil.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the hearts of the naive. Romans 16:17-18
Even in the early days of the Apostle Paul, the early Church, these divisions and spirits were present and hard at work. They came into the churches to divide and deceive those who were escaping the lies of the Devil. It is the Devil himself that causes division. The Devil and his demons speak to the minds and intellects to create false teachers. They do not teach by the anointing of God.
The Devil is no slacker. He has been around since before the creation of the Universe. Don’t you think he has refined his crafty ways to trick and fool the hearts, minds, and souls of men? Don’t be fooled, as if he can not pull something over on you. We must be wise and be in the Spirit of the Lord to escape his traps.
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
The actual Body of Christ, the faithful followers of Jesus Christ, are not divided. But they are whole, truthful, beautiful, strong, and bold in the face of the deceitfulness of the Devil.
Where did you get the doctrines and beliefs you hold onto? Test them by the Spirit of the Lord. What does it matter if they came from “famous men” of the faith? Test them by the Words of Jesus, the Word of Truth. Test them by what you read from the Bible, by God’s holy and inspired Word. The Spirit of the Lord will never lead astray or lie.
For example, how did people in churches come to believe that homosexuality, abortion, worshiping idols, and the worship of Saints were acceptable or not in God’s sight? From whom did they get the idea that Jesus is not God, that He didn’t die, and was not raised again on the third day? Does the Bible teach that everyone who dies has another chance to redeem themselves in a place such as Purgatory or that there are different levels of heaven? No, the Bible does not teach these things; men do.
Where did you learn the doctrine that believes there is no longer the office of the Apostle and Prophet? Which has flipped the office of Pastor to the top position, even though God established the proper order of the five offices of the Church long ago. Or the disbelief that many spiritual gifts such as healing, miracles, and tongues are no longer present in these last days? What about the doctrines of many who believed other things that God never declared or even came into His mind? The list goes on. It is too long to expound, but none came from God.
But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18
All of these doctrines are not from God. But by the mouth of demons and the Devil, through mouths of men or women. Unfortunately, this causes many to be plunged headlong into falsehood, eventually carrying them to Hell because the Holy Spirit did not lead them.
Multitudes have been bamboozled by the spirit of darkness. They have spoken and praised the name of the Lord with their lips. But have mixed in a portion of poison with the Word of God they have spoken. Like a glass of pure water, one drop of poison makes the whole glass deadly.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
Do you see how dangerous it is to follow the will and ideas of men? No matter how good they sound. Don’t you understand that not all in the seats of authority and prominence in the churches worldwide were placed there by God? He did not intend for them to have those places to instruct a single person.
Yet, God allowed it. He knew it would happen. He knew about their stubborn hearts, unwilling to listen to His Spirit. He knew these days would come. He declared it. It is evidence of the last days before Jesus Christ returns with all power and authority to judge the world in righteousness.
But understand this, that in the last days, there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Look closely at the list of beliefs and doctrines you have believed. Don’t look at them with your understanding or those of lofty title and position, but examine them with the help of the Spirit of the Lord. God is the only escape from the schemes and lies of the Devil. God is the source of truth.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Yet in like manner, these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain an advantage. Jude 1:4, 8, 12-16
You must be born again into the Holy Spirit to discern the difference between a true servant of the Lord and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So seek the Lord with all your heart and soul, seek His wisdom and insight, that you may not be led astray. Test the fruit of the preacher and teacher. Remember, Jesus told us this is how we will know who is true and false. You will know them by their fruit. If their fruit is bad, their words are wrong.