Doctrine ... Who Needs It?
Doctrine is an unpopular word these days. Comparatively few Christians wish
to discuss doctrine. The buzz word of this generationis experience. As the
‘charismatic wave’ sweeps country after country, these or
similar all-to-familiar words will be heard:
This article is not attempting to dismiss another's experience. Rather
it is an attempt to set the record straight on the vital issue of DOCTRINE.
What is doctrine anyway? The Oxford Dictionary defines the word
- “I've been baptized in the Holy Spirit and you haven't. So don't
talk to me about doctrine, because I know. The Holy Spirit teaches me all I need to
know about doctrine. He shows me what is right and what is wrong. It’s
experience that counts, not obsolete doctrine.”
- ‘a principle or set of principles and beliefs held by a religious
or political or other group.’
2. Jesus Taught Sound Doctrine
Strange as it may seem Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah) only taught
doctrine. In fact all religious instruction, of whatever faith, is based on
‘doctrine,’ on a ‘set of principles.’
I'm sure no religious leader worthy of his position would advocate abandoning
religious principles - doctrine! But What Is Sound Doctrine?
The answer is:
Sound doctrine is the unique set of religious principles
which originated from Yahweh the God of the Bible, the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Sound doctrine, in short, is the set of
principles by which the Almighty lives. They form an integral part of His
character; and He alone has the right to define them. True believers may
subsequently adopt and teach those sacred principles, but only the
Almighty has the authority to define them: because they originated in
When Yahweh’s Son, Yeshua the Messiah, came to earth he confirmed this fact. He practised and taught his
Father's doctrines - nothing else! All his sermons were based on the ‘religious principles’ he had learned
from his heavenly Father. They were not his own ideas: they were his Father's. Listen to the Saviour's own testimony:
||16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”
||49: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.|
50: And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
The Saviour's famous Sermon on the Mount is an example of his Father's doctrine.
||28: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.”
Why is Doctrine so Important?
The answer is: because Yahweh's principles motivate all His actions
and laws. They give us insight into His plans and methods. Consequently
when you study divine law, you are also studying the motivating
principles and will of the Almighty God! You are studying eternal
principles which uphold and govern the present and the future universe.
No subject could possibly compare with the study of divine law: because
it is the study of Yahweh's own will and character.
3. The Doctrines of Men
Sad to say, the self-worshipping human mind thought it could do better than the
Almighty. It began to conceive doctrines of its own. In this article these are
called man-made doctrines. Yes, believe it or not, man set about to design his own
doctrines, principles, laws and standards of morality. It wasn’t long
before the church joined in and jettisoned long established Biblical principles
(doctrines) handed down by the prophets and Apostles of old. The church adopted
the ‘doctrines of men:’ and to each incoming doctrine it gave a
Christian title. Let me list a few of the doctrines the church adopted from heathenism.
These are a few of the man-made doctrines the fallen church adopted as it jettisoned
the sacred doctrine of the Almighty God. It is quite impossible to tell the catastrophic
effect this action had on the human race. Church leaders thought that by accommodating
pagan ideas and doctrine it would attract souls to its fold. It certainly did: but millions
in the church are still in darkness as far as the truth is concerned. Who knows how many -
or few - of these teeming millions will make it to the Kingdom of Heaven! The result of
this tragic policy is that the world is in moral darkness and almost on the point of
self-destruction. The church has rejected the living waters of Yahweh's truth and embraced
paganism instead. This is the underlying cause of humanity's problems: and this is why most
worship - in and out of the church - is vain and futile! One might compare the
‘doctrines of men’ to spiritual contraceptives. They not only stifle life,
but their long term effect is ‘virtual impotency’ in every sector of human
society. Hearken to the Saviour's words in (Mark 7: 7) concerning the doctrines
- Mother and Child Worship:
This began in ancient Babylon and spread to the ends of the earth.
This popular festival came directly from paganism.
- Sunday Observance:
The weekly rest day of sun-worshipping pagans.
- Infant Baptism:
Nowhere in the scriptures will you find infants being baptized. Jesus Christ was baptized at the age of 30 years! In scripture
infants are dedicated, adults baptized.
- The Rosary:
Another practice adopted from paganism.
- The Sign of the Cross:
“The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the
Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured
with the same honours. That which is now called the Christian cross was
originally no Christian emblem at all, but the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians
- the true original form of the letter T - the initial of the name Tammuz.”
(The Two Babylons. (page 197). This informative book is published by PARTRIDGE and Co.
4 Soho Square, London UK)
What does this verse mean for this generation? It means this: if we attempt to worship
the Creator in a way that He has not authorized, no matter how popular or exciting that
way may happen to be, our worship is vain, worthless and a total waste of time. We may
dance around in Baal-like frenzy, we may beat the air, laugh, sing, shout, clap our hands
or collapse in ecstatic delirium: but we will accomplish nothing of any value, no matter
how feverishly we work at it. Because the fact is, ‘worship that is not based
on genuine faith and obedience to the commandments of God is vain, futile and worthless
worship.’ That is what the scriptures teach!
- “Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men.”
4. The Doctrines of Nicolaitans
False doctrine always leads to sin; and more often than not to sexual sin.
Indeed that is the very reason why Satan works so hard at getting mankind to adopt
falsehood. But Yahweh hates false doctrine. Therefore, no matter how attractive
or exciting false doctrine may appear, it must be put out of our lives. Only then will
we be able to stand in the
Day of Judgment.
||6: “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”
Who are the Nicolaitans? According to the Westminster Dictionary of the Bible (page 427)
In other words, the Nicolaitans introduced ‘sexual freedom’ into their
worship. Their 'man-made doctrines,' initially inspired by the false prophet
Balaam, appeared quite harmless at first:
but it wasn't long before they were involved in illegal sexual acts which accompanied the
BAAL...The Pagan God of Fertility.
Let me repeat: false doctrine always leads to sin, especially sexual sin!
- “A party or sect in the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos whose practice
and doctrine are severely censured. Following the doctrine of Balaam, they taught that
Christians were free to eat things offered to idols and to commit the excesses of heathenism,
(Revelation 2: 6, 14, 15) contrary to the command issued by the apostolic council held at
Jerusalem A.D. 50 (Acts 15: 29) A sect of Nicolaitanes existed among the Gnostics of the 3rd
century. They too taught the freedom of the flesh ...”
5. Yahweh’s Doctrine
The Saviour taught sound doctrine; the spiritual principles he had learned from
his heavenly Father. Never did he conceive a doctrine of his own: though he often needed
to magnify, explain and demonstrate his Father's doctrines and the laws based on them.
Here is proof of this astonishing fact.
||16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”
||28: “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
The Key to Understanding Sound Doctrine
Sound doctrine is best understood by the obedient; by those who really want to do the
Father's will. You have absolutely no chance whatsoever of appreciating the value of
true spiritual principles and divine law if you blatantly practice sin. Only the
obedient understand the Father's will. (Daniel 12: 10)
||17: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,|
whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
6. The Doctrine of Devils
Devils are evil angels who have revolted against the Almighty. They are spirit
beings and they posses enormous powers. In the distant past millions of evil angels
rejected Yahweh's authority and His laws. Ever since, they have done their utmost to
ruin His creation and frustrate His work. The Holy Spirit warns us about the increased
activity of evil spirits (devils) in the days just prior to the return of Jesus Christ
|1 Timothy 4:
||1: “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;|
2: Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
One such doctrine of devils is ‘enforced celibacy.’ Another is to
‘forbid eating meat.’ (verse 3) These two doctrines are widespread in
pagan lands, where they originated. They are classified in scripture as the
‘doctrines of devils.’ Sad to say the Christian church adopted these
two doctrines. The tragic consequences of this adoption continues to this day in communities
around the world.
7. Should We Preach Sound Doctrine?
We are commanded to preach sound doctrine! The world is perishing because of a
lack of sound doctrine; those divine principles which teach us how to regulate our behaviour.
The popular church has departed from the doctrines of the Bible and are now wallowing
in the unclean doctrines of men and angels. Because of this, sin in its myriad forms is
smothering the life out of billions of souls! We dare not remain silent; even if it
means upsetting some readers, a reaction we deeply regret.
- Jesus taught sound doctrine
||22: “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.”
||38: “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces.”
- The Apostles taught sound doctrine
||28: “Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.”
||12: “Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”
||19: “And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?”
- Scriptural advice concerning doctrine
|1 Timothy 1:
||3: “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 Timothy 4:
||6: “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”
|1 Timothy 4:
||13: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine...|
16: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
|1 Timothy 5:
||17: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
|1 Timothy 6:
||1: “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”
|2 Timothy 3:
||16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
||9: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
||1: “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
|2 John 1:
||9: “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.|
10: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”
||14: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
|2 Timothy 4:
||2: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.|
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.”
- Sound doctrine is a set of moral principles which comes from
Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel. It forms the basis of His
character, His will and His law.
- Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) always taught sound
doctrine; which he received from His heavenly Father. He never
introduced a single doctrine of his own: but always magnified his
Father's laws in order that mankind would appreciate their
- Sad to say the Christian church set aside the doctrines of the
Almighty and adopted in their place the ‘doctrines of men and
angels’ (Sunday observance, Christmas, Easter, Ash Wednesday,
relic/idol worship, celibacy of the priesthood etc.).
- Teaching and living by the ‘doctrines of men’
results in vain, futile and worthless worship. Believers may delude
themselves and each other; but we cannot delude the Almighty. The
Saviour's warning was: ‘Every plant which my heavenly Father
hath not planted will be rooted up.’ This applies to all
false doctrine, be it of men or angels.
- The Bible admonishes us to live by sound doctrine:- the
principles of Yahweh.
- If you really wish to understand the will of the Almighty you
must begin to obey His commandments: which are simply the
divine definitions of His own principles.
- You may have had some extremely exciting experiences. I'll not
doubt them. But if you are relying on personal experiences
instead of the Word of God, then you are in for a big surprise on
the soon-coming Day of Judgment.
In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader