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The Case or Sound Doctrine
by Vincent Neptune
02/01/05
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The Case For Sound Doctrine

Vincent J. Neptune

Sound doctrine is a must for the Christian. And while it is not true
that all false doctrines are a danger to the soul in the sense of
denying one the gift of eternal life which we receive through Christ
Jesus, it is true that all false doctrine negatively impact us in the
area of our lives that they point to or involve.

Therefore, it is for our own sakes as children of the Light, and for
the greater good of the lost, which are drawn to Christ through His
Light shining in and through us, that we have a sound understanding of
the principles and oracles of our faith.

There are precise and established principles of interpretation that
must be used if one desires to have a good and balanced understanding
of the Bible. And it is important to note that these are not the
invention of any one Christian denomination, or even of any one
secular scholar. It is also important to note that false doctrines
occur from improper interpretations of the Scripture, and that there
are only two causes behind the latter.

[1] Deliberate intent to misrepresent the teachings of the law and the
prophets/apostles.

This is always done for our hurt, and never for our good. A perfect
example of this is found in the temptation of the Christ, where we
witness Satan himself misquoting Scripture to lead the Son of God to
His destruction.

The servants are not greater than their Lord, and if Satan misused the
sacred texts to attempt to deceive the Author and Finisher of our
faith, so we can expect the servants of Satan to likewise misuse the
sacred texts to our detriment. Let us examine this:

Luke 4:9 And he brought Him to Jerusalem and sat Him on a pinnacle of
the temple and said to Him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself
down from here.
Luke 4:10 For it is written, "He shall give His angels charge over
You, to keep You;
Luke 4:11 and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time
You dash Your foot against a stone."

Satan quoted verses 11-12 of Psalm 91 to deceive Jesus into committing
suicide. Whether Jesus had the power to save Himself from the
destruction of leaping off the Temple is not the point we need to
consider here. What we need to consider is that Satan used an out of
context quote in an effort to cause harm to our Lord. The context of
the verses the Adversary used did not mention anything about one
***willfully*** putting oneself in harm's way, but spoke instead of
the protection one receives who trusts in God and lives according to
His word.

Jesus response is very instructive:

Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said to him, It is written, "You shall
not tempt the Lord your God."

God is not mocked, and what we sow we reap. We are not to think that
because we are under the protection of God that we must put ourselves
in harm's way just to see if God will save us. When our ancestors,
having witnessed the awesome power of God who led them out of Egypt
through many mighty miracles demonstrated by the hand of Moses,
nonetheless tempted God for flesh to eat in the wilderness, God
answered them by giving them both their desire and the
***consequence*** of that desire.

Their rejection of the manna from heaven for the flesh of Egypt, is a
type of all those who reject the Bread of heaven, which is the Lord
Jesus, for the things of the world system, which are the result of the
desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the ambition to rise
to the top of the world order, which is built on the pride of life. We
are warned that those who rush to get rich fall into a trap, because
the price of prospering according to the principles of the world order
is one's soul; and one must of necessity take on the mentality of the
predatory world system to achieve that goal. That is why we read that
"to buy or sell" (survive and prosper) in the world system one needs
to take the imprint of the predator in the forehead (referring to
mindset, consciousness) or their right hand (the predator becomes
one's strength).

Now Christ, our example, refused to tempt God, and remembered to
respect His Father, and did not to take His protection for granted.
Let us do likewise, and let us remember, again, that false doctrine
are meant to either destroy us outright, or to poison us spiritually,
making our spiritual life and testimony powerless and ineffectual to
varying degrees. If the Satan cannot get us to relinquish our faith in
Jesus Christ, it is then his goal to make our spiritual walk as
***ineffectual*** and as ***miserable*** as possible.

The second cause of false doctrine is

[2] Honest misinterpretation of Scripture. This does happen, since we
are human, and, as the saying goes, "to err is human." Lack of
diligence in our study of the word or lack of certain essential
information or even ignorance of the principles of interpretation, are
all contributing factors for wrong interpretation. Nonetheless, honest
misinterpretation becomes a problem, and even a sin, when we choose to
believe them even when they are shown to be wrong. If we don't know
better, then there is nothing we can do about it; but when we come to
know better, we cannot be as those who do not know, for that would
constitute sin on our parts. As our Lord Himself has said, "To whom
much is given, much is required." When we are given knowledge, it is
as a talent that must be used in the service of God, for "my people
perish for lack of knowledge." Knowledge is a metaphysical key, and is
a necessity, and therefore when it is given to us, we must appreciate
and use it.

What we believe matters both to us and to God.

In the purely natural realm, we see the consequences of our beliefs
being demonstrated in the lives of man as a whole, as an example:
Those who are terrorists and commit mass murders because they believe
that that is correct; and those who help and preserve lives because
they believe that that is correct. As Christians, we must note the
millions of Christians killed because they believed in Jesus Christ.
Belief matters.

In the metaphysical realm the realm of mind or consciousness, we
must understand that "believe kills and believe cures;" and not of
itself, but because belief is a door to our soul, a window of
consciousness through which we receive good or bad, and through which
we impart that which is good or bad. To disbelieve the good is to
close our soul from receiving it and its benefits, and to believe the
bad is to open our souls to receiving it and its negative
consequences.

In a former post I made it clear that we also believe that which we
want to believe. And we choose to believe or not to believe something
because of desire, fear, trust, or ignorance, the latter often
resulting from simple or complex mis-education.

There are some who choose to disbelieve the truth of the gospel
because they fear the Light, and these are the wicked:

John 3:19-20 And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into
the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their
deeds were evil. For everyone that loves evil hates the Light, neither comes to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

The Bible does not mince words. People like these stand against the
Light because their works are evil. The falsehood of universal
reconciliation is shown to be falsehood when we consider that
reconciliation must involve two parties who both desire to be
reconciled. And even though God is willing to bring the wicked to
repentance and reconciliation, the wicked hate God and do not want to
be reconciled to Him. The desire of the wicked toward God is seen in
their judgment on His Son, who was the very Spirit of God manifest in
the flesh.

Others choose to disbelieve because they are deceived and blinded;
they may not be wicked like those who know God but hate Him and His
ways, but they nonetheless reject the good news of Jesus Christ
because they believe another gospel, whether from a religious or
non-religious source. Speaking of this category, Paul writes:

2Co 4:3 But also if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being
lost,
2Co 4:4 in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the
unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ
(who is the image of God) should not dawn on them.

These "unbelieving ones" are those blinded by false philosophies and
ideologies and doctrines. For this reason we read:

2Co 10:5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped
philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God,
fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure
of life shaped by Christ.

We do this for the sake of the lost, and for our own sakes as well.
And we must always remember that the lost are not the ones having much
fun in this world. As a general rule, the ***wicked*** prosper in this
world order, because it is designed for them, but the ***lost***
suffer.

Of the wicked:

Psa 73:4 For there are no bands in their death; but their strength is
fat.
Psa 73:5 They are not in trouble like other men; neither are they
plagued like other men.
Psa 73:6 Therefore pride enchains them; violence covers them like a
robe.
Psa 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than the
heart could imagine.
Psa 73:8 They scoff and speak in malice of cruelty; from on high they
speak.
Psa 73:9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue
walks through the earth.
Psa 73:10 Therefore His people return here, and waters of a full cup
are wrung out to them.
Psa 73:11 And they say, How does God know? And is there knowledge in
the Most High?
Psa 73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who are at ease in the
world; they increase in riches.

Of the lost:

Mar 6:34 And going out Jesus saw a large crowd. And He was moved with
compassion toward them, because they were like sheep without a
shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.

Luk 5:31 Jesus answered them, "People who are well do not need a
doctor, but only those who are sick.

Yes, these are the common women who pour precious oil on the feet of
the Savior they have come to love and wash His feet with their hair,
and support the common fishermen who are transformed into
miracle-working apostles of Jesus. These are the outcasts of the
world, the poor and needy who seek the Light.

And if we are Christians, we must remember that we are the children of
the Light, and our Christian walk matters greatly.

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore let
us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of
light.

In a former post, I showed that we can see in the Bible that which we
desire to see. And if we desire to see the truth we can likewise see
the truth. For this reason we read:

Tit 1:15 To the pure all things are pure. But to those who are
defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure, but even their mind and
conscience is defiled.

That is why the righteous see the pure truths of the word of God,
while the wicked can only see the wickedness in their own souls
reflected in the Bible. For this reason also we read,

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart. For they shall see God.

And again:

Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye. Therefore if your eye is
sound, your whole body shall be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of
darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great
is that darkness!

So if the desire of our hearts from which we receive "the light of the
eye," is pure, we shall be full of light and truth and purity. But if
the desire of our heart from which we receive "the light of our eye,"
is evil, the very understanding in our souls will be that of darkness.
If therefore what we see as light is in truth darkness how great,
then, is that darkness!

As it is written:

Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put
darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!

The Scriptures do not speak in vain, or warn and exhort us for
nothing.

Perhaps, then, we may wish to re-examine certain of our doctrines, and
in doing so we should pose this question:

[1] Why do we believe what we believe from the Scriptures?

[2] Why do we or another person choose a certain doctrine over the
other?

For instance, why do some argue that the ***wicked***, who knowingly
hate and willfully oppose God, will be reconciled to God in the end?
Why would someone choose to believe or argue that murderers, rapists
and terrorists are innocent, and do not deserve the judgment of God?
These kinds of questions should be asked, because what a person
believes or chooses to believe tells us about that person. And as far
as we Christians who believe the word of God, our choice of doctrine
can only come from one of four sources:

[1] What our denomination teaches.

This can be dangerous, because for this reason we often reject sound
doctrine, and, contrariwise, resist sound doctrine. When we chose to
believe partisan theology over truth, to wit, that we believe it
because our denomination teaches it even though we are shown that it
is untrue, this is sin, and equates to rejecting the word of God for
the commandments of men.

[2] What the scholars teach.

Scholars can come up with all kind of explanations and rhetoric
through which they contradict or deny the truths of the gospel of
Jesus Christ. Words are tools that can be used to edify or to destroy,
to heal or to hurt, to enlighten or to deceive. Scholars are masters
of the word, and are adept in its usage, and we must remember that
they are but men. Jesus Himself warned us about them.

[3] What we chose to believe.

Some of us lean on our own understanding and desires and choose to
believe other than what the Scriptures plainly teach. Some even do
this out of a corrupt heart, seeing evil in the Bible. Others do it
because it is more convenient to do so.

[4] What God Himself intended.

To see this, we must have the ***foremost*** desire to see what God
intended in His writings, and we also must have a good understanding
of the principles of biblical interpretation. The latter is not up to
conjecture but is a sound science, which, when steadfastly adhered to,
will not lead one wrong.

God bless His saints.

.......

"There are only two kinds of people who can be called reasonable;
those who serve God with all their heart because they know Him, and
those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know Him."
Pascal


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Member Comments
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Jeremy McNabb 03 Feb 2005
You have written quite a comprehensive piece here. I think it is always a good practice to look at what we are teaching, or what we are being taught, and ask, "How does this line up with scripture?" Paul commended the Bereans for thiskind of behavior, as should today's pastors. God bless!




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