A few years back I read the opening paragraph of a short article that said, “We are in the days of circumspect, where each precept of our faith is being questioned.” I suppose it is easy to understand the enemies of our wonderful Lord and Saviour trying to denigrate our faith, they know it has sustained us throughout history, made us strong, resulted in countless blessings and kept us at the forefront of God’s Great Purpose. It is their natural desire to control us so they are attacking us as never before. They have the mechanism to do so and there is no hesitation on their part to work wholeheartedly to destroy the very faith that has given us tremendous advantages. Yet, at least they are visible, we can see their weapons of propaganda aimed at our very souls and while we weep for those caught up in the wounded lukewarm church of the Laodiceans and even more for those brethren who have totally fallen away, there have always been safe havens, like the conservative churches of the Christian nations or the Israel Truth movement itself. Yet, the attack upon our sacred walls has picked up tempo, not only from the historical enemies of our faith, but from within, from other sheep and from some of our shepherds.
Have you ever read the Apostle Paul’s warning to the people of Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11, particularly 11: 3,4 where he cautioned, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it.” It is a well-known axiom that if something is preached to us enough times, particularly from trusted shepherds, we begin to tolerate it, and then, some of us will believe it. I suppose that depending upon the charisma and reputation of the deliverer of such a message, there are those of little study who might accept it instantly. Whatever, once we accept just a little morsel of false doctrine, we will have fallen in the trenches; the weapon of false doctrine will have seriously wounded us. And once wounded, we become the fodder of the cannons to claim further victims of this new reality that has been pounded into our minds.
Has this scenario taken place because we have been tolerant; perhaps it is as simple as “not wanting to offend the presenter by objecting to the message,” or, as we so often hear, “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, let the presenter speak,” not realizing that some in the audience might be easy prey. Our role model, the Apostle Paul, was certainly not one who believed in such tolerance, for he said in 2 Corinthians 11: 12, “But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.”
You know, friends, there are some pretty wonderful people who get caught up in false doctrine because of tolerance. Some time ago now, I had occasion to meet with a minister of one of the larger Protestant denominations in Canada and when I questioned him on a couple of his statements, I was astonished to hear him describe a Jesus, who, as he put it, was much like Mohammed or Buddha. To him, all paths lead to God and these men are simply messengers, none of whom are divine. In his love for all humanity, this minister is feeding his flock this and all sorts of other false doctrine and as Paul said, “they are putting up with it.” Perhaps you have heard a growing phrase, “Jesus is not God, just a created being of God’s”. This is such a growing belief throughout the Israel nations that it is impacting the views of even one-time staunch Christians. Have you ever noticed how respectful they are when pushing this doctrine. My luncheon companion used this approach, “Oh, Jesus was a wonderful, loving person and yes, He did shed His blood for our salvation and He will be our future king, but He is just the son of God, not God.” In this instance, the alarm bells went off as I realized that my luncheon companion is in a position where he can almost certainly influence others. More fodder for the “false doctrine cannon.” And on it goes. This is how false doctrine progressively gains a stronger foothold. Very recently, a very learned student of the Israel movement began attending Bible studies at local churches and I think he is being tainted with the “all religions lead to God.”
Isn’t it strange when somebody adopts a false piece of doctrine that it doesn’t seem to matter what you say, you can’t convince them otherwise. I have a young nephew who, along with his wife, joined a sect that does not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. They have become so indoctrinated that only God can alter their thinking. They will say they believe the words of the Bible, yet, when confronted with the following passages (dozens could have been offered) they shrug them off without a thought. It was the same with my luncheon companion when I quoted in support of Divinity, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God……And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us……” (John 1: 1, 14) and, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5: 7). And Isaiah 9: 6, “For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. Sadly, however, nothing changed.
I recall a few years ago learning from a friend that her minister was preaching this doctrine in her church. Since it was the church of my youth, I wrote the Moderator and was completely taken back by the response. I had expected some horrifying shock of this news, instead I received a letter which in part said, “The question of who is Jesus is a 2000 year old question: “Who do people say that I am?’ Jesus asked his disciples. This is a question people both within and beyond the church are struggling with especially in the light of new scholarship and discovery of ancient documents. The Theology and Faith Committee of the General Council is currently working on a Christology document …. It will be six study sessions…. It deals with being Christian in a pluralistic world.” Well, that Church soon revealed it was opting for ecumenism and was quite willing to jettison Christ to do so. In the few years since my exchange of letters, it is commonplace for churches, theologians, individuals and the media to take aim at our Lord. Yet, what is most alarming is to note the growth of this doctrine in the bastion of Christian principles, the Israel Movement itself. No doubt God is telling us to cut off the opportunity to those who want to talk about a different Jesus than the one we have known. Not doing so can have disastrous effects. Members of a once thriving Vancouver assembly, who had embraced the Israel Truth, didn’t cut off their leaders when they preached against Jesus and ended up with a dead church that closed its doors. Their opportunity to be a vehicle God would use to lift the blindness of brethren was gone. You see, they placed false doctrine above the counsel of Paul. I wish space would permit me to go into the other bits of false doctrine seeping into our movement but unfortunately it doesn’t.
Revelation 3:14-16 sadly reveals, “And to the angel of the church of Laodiceans write, “These things says the Amen, the faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. [reject you]” Jesus is talking about the very time through which we are passing, yet, for those still imbued with the Philadelphia feeling of Revelation 3:11, His Words of 3:20 are readily understandable, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.”
I’m pretty sure of this, I think it is not enough for us to just go with the flow and tolerate those being “neither hot nor cold” as we listen to them promulgate false doctrine. The best approach is to try always to be hot, to stand up for the Faith of our Fathers and do what we can to not let false doctrine enter the chambers, whether in a small group discussion, a one on one conversation or a large meeting. Remember, we have no better counsel than that given us by the Apostle Paul when he said “cut off their opportunity to speak.” And in these critical months or years before the return of the Lord, it is paramount to stop false doctrine entering any further into our Israel Truth Movement, indeed, into Christendom as a whole.