The Apostle John was undisputedly the head honcho of the Apostolic church. He survived longer than any of the other Apostles and heard directly from the Lord in Visions and dreams. What he said and wrote to the Saints was taken VERY seriously, to be Obeyed as the Lord Himself. In his second brief Epistle to the Elect lady he instructed the Saints to beware of anyone bringing in a Different Doctrine, Contrary to the Doctrine they were taught by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is what he said:
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. 2John7-11
The most important thing was to guard the Purity of the Doctrine. This the early Saints understood and did earnestly, as instructed. Elders were not chosen by longevity or popularity in the church, but by their knowledge of Doctrine and the ability to refute ‘soundly’ those who contradict. (Titus1:9) Far Removed from anything happening in the churches today. In fact IF you refute anyone, you will be instantly labeled a mean spirited hateful person with no love. But in the early church it was Common Place.
What ‘Doctrine’ were they defending? Certainly not the ‘saved in your sins’ non-sense preached far and wide today! To the Early Saints Sound Doctrine MUST Produce Sound Behavior. It was the Doctrine Which is according to Godliness! (1Tim6:3) AND if anyone did not Consent to it (which was the wholesome Words of our Lord Jesus Christ) they were destitute of the Truth. Yet today they will accept ANY Doctrine that comes along. One of the things that always threw me for a loop in the past was their willingness to fellowship and join forces with all various kinds of denominations. It didn’t matter what they believed or preached. NO ONE asked any questions are raised any objections. The Pastors told us to ‘love them’, they all ‘believed’ in Jesus, we were all just one big happy family on the Narrow Road to Heaven!
Still it didn’t add up. First it was OPPOSITE of the Bible. Throughout Scripture the Saints were constantly admonished to beware of false teachers rising up among themselves. The Epistles to Timothy and Titus were all about the necessity of Sound Doctrine and the teaching of godliness. We can see by examining early Christian writings that the early Saints also spent most of their time refuting such Pagan Doctrines as Man being Born with a Sin Nature and no free will. These were Gnostic teachings, VERY Dangerous to the godly Doctrine of Christ. Second with everyone believing they were born sinners and Jesus had to Obey for them, godliness was out the window! Therefore all the teaching in the church was kind of superficial. It had no impact on the people’s behavior. Since everything was Done for them in advance, there was nothing left for them to do but ‘believe’. So they ‘believed’, as James 2:19 states: ‘The devils believed and tremble.’
But they didn’t have enough sense to tremble!
We learned quickly that if you intended to Obey the Scriptures and Contend for the faith against all the crazy Doctrines people were spouting, you were an enemy of the church. If you were concerned about the type of material they were reading and studying, you had no love and were puffed up with knowledge. The Pastors especially did not understand WHY you were so concerned about these things. To them you were merely stirring up strive in his church that would eventually lead to an internal split. Yet the Bible says that it’s the false teachers that cause the divisions. (Titus3:9-11) NOT those who Contend for the faith!
Pastors have to maintain the status quo. They have to be careful not to anger anyone in the church and at the same time convince themselves they are preaching the true Word to them. For the most part the people are in a numbed mental state and completely unaware they are under Strong Delusion. When you begin introducing terms and new ideas into their brains, like ‘Clearing of Wrong Doing’, ‘Obedience to the faith’, ‘Faith working by love’, and others, they cannot comprehend it. They’ve been taught that everyone who believes in Jesus is a real Christian and that no one has the right to challenge their faith.
After all no one is Perfect and you certainly cannot Judge. It is universally ingrained into their minds that everyone is born sinful and continues to sin daily in thought, word and deed as a Christian. If you say you are not sinning, you’re a lair and the truth is not in you! (that is a part of their Doctrine!)
In consequence you will NEVER get any of them to Examine themselves, to find whether or not they are in the faith, or reprobates. (2Cor13:5) Mainly because they are oblivious the Bible Commands it. Just as they are clueless about Contending for the faith against all the false doctrines in their mist. These things are simply not part of their comprehension. As a result they (including the Pastors) have absolutely NO Discernment whatsoever between the spirit of error vs the Spirit of truth. That’s why they will NEVER understand what you are doing and WHY you are doing it! Just like Jesus and the Apostles, you will be a Threat to their institution and they will have to see that you’re eliminated before you can do any damage. Right and Wrong have nothing to do with it.
The Churches are NOT going to change. They may split up over codes of conduct, keeping Sabbaths, types of Baptism or personality conflicts. But they are NEVER going to relinquish their Precious Doctrines. Think about the Pharisees of Jesus time. Did they welcome Him and His teaching? They Conspired to kill Him! How is today any different? They Teach things in Direct opposition of the Bible. Tell people they will inherit the Kingdom of God while they are taking part in horrible sins of the flesh. (we have the emails from pastors all over the world to PROVE this!) They are BLIND and DEAF to the Truth when it is spoken to them. They pass themselves off as God fearing and reverent while they tell you you’re the Chief of Sinners (Like Paul) and sin everyday in thought, word and deed. They believe that SIN Humbles them, while it HARDENS their hearts to the Truth!
The landscape of Present Day Christianity is like a three ring Circus. They sell it to this generation like Madison Avenue Charlatans. The Glitter, noise and emotion driven programs draw the people into the pageantry and memorize them. Slick soft spoken celebrity Ministers rule the Pulpits. They are cunning and wise in the ways of the world. They know how to Spin the Word in their favor and flatter the people with lies. YET they are NOT Dissimilar to the False Teachers the Apostles exposed!
Read What was said about them:
1) By Smooth Words and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the simple! Rom15:18
2) They introduce destructive Doctrines that blaspheme the way of Truth! 2Pet2:1-2
3) They speak in Great Swelling Words of emptiness. 2Pet2:18
4) They Promise people liberty in their Sins! 2Pet2:19
5) They Rise up among yourselves! Acts20:30
6) They handle the Word of God deceitfully & Preach themselves! 2Cor4:2-4
ANYONE not already Blinded by these things can easily Recognize the Farce that is Present Day Christianity. Thus you can Beware that you have Nothing to Gain by joining yourself to this System of error, but EVERYTHING to lose. Always remember the System appears as a Lamb, but the language of the Dragon is their constant theme. Don’t be fooled by appearances that appeal to your flesh. STAY AWAKE and contend for the Faith!