The Inoculations Against The Heresies

Filed in Bible Issue, Christian Living, Commitment, Discipleship, Faith, Fellowship, Help, Work by on October 2, 2015 0 Comments • views: 754

This is not meant to be a laundry list examination of false teaching from various cults. This brief article is meant to draw your attention to the usage of the words: heresy, heresies, and heretic; as found in the King James Bible. God is not the author of confusion. Rather than fall into the devil’s trick of thinking one has to be the master of many medicines in order to have a healthy Christian life, we are going to find the inoculations against the heresies, if there is such a thing, by studying what the Bible says. 1 Cor. 14:33. James 3:1.

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Look at Acts 24:1-16. You will see here that Paul points out that he is said to be in “the way which they call heresy.” It has been the routine throughout church history that true Bible believers end up being connected with those deemed “heretics” by mainstream religion. Observe in verse 5 that Paul is accused of being in a “sect” and that particular sect being “of the Nazarenes”. If you were called a Nazarene, that would mean nothing to the average person today. It had direct connection to Jesus Christ and his disciples at the time this happened. This habit of labeling and name calling the true believers in some derogatory fashion has gone on for the past two-thousand years in various ways.

Christians have been called Donatists, Novatians, Bogomiles, Waldensians, Albigenses, Lollards, Protestants, Lutherans, Quakers, Baptists, Fundamentalists, Darbyites, Norrisites, and Ruckmanites. This peculiar tendency to find a name to classify Bible believers is done to try and marginalize an emphasis of neglected truth that God is dealing with the body of Christ about at large. Paul was called a Nazarene as a sort of way to immediately discredit his scriptural ministry.

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These same sorts of religious people that would call Bible believers heretics, also accuse of irreverence or disrespect to the temple or “house of God”. In Paul’s case as found in verse 6, they were talking about Paul supposedly profaning the Jewish temple. Today the reference would be applied to the local church house. These same folks that over-emphasize the physical building of worship, many times fail to teach the truth that the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit in this age. 1 Cor. 6:19.Their priorities are backwards.

Go now to 1 Corinthians 11:17-21. Here Paul tells us that there must be heresies. He throws this in while giving instruction about the Lord’s Supper. There was a problem where some had eaten before coming and others had not. Some had provision before and others had not. Regardless of the particulars of his mentioning the necessity of heresies, notice the wording of its mention. Why must there be heresies? The reason was so those approved could be manifest. How is one supposed to be approved? There is no secret formula. Thank God that the starting place is extremely simple.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

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Some of you are now wincing and cringing because you have been around some other Christian that incessantly quoted this in conversation or preaching and teaching. Well, what about that? If the Bible is our rule for faith and practice, why not let God define the terms and methods? Leave it in his hands. Memorize it. Apply yourself to it.

How is one to be approved and not numbered with the heretics? It takes a desire. It takes study. This word is removed from most modern versions. Who doesn’t want you to study? The devil does not want you to be approved. He wants you to be ashamed when you stand before Jesus. It’s not a chance thing. The method is clear. You are commanded to study and rightly divide the word or you will not be approved and you will be ashamed.

Many Christians believe they can be certain about their security concerning salvation like the Bible says in 1 John 5:13 and then refuse to believe doing well at the Judgment Seat of Christ is something you must plan on by ordering your beliefs and life after what God told us. 2 Cor. 5:10.

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2 Corinthians 10:12-18 warns us not to compare and measure by each other. There is a warning about commending ourselves. You cannot approve yourself by just studying. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in studying some things. Mormons believe in studying some things. Philosophers believe in studying some things. They are not approved. It is the Lord that approves someone for following his pattern and his way by faith. Face it. We all make mistakes and knowledge is not enough. Prov. 19:2. There is no end in learning. Ecc. 12:12. The more we learn, the more we seem to forget. How can you ever really attain? Phil. 3:13.

In 1 John 2:18-22, you can find some help. Remember in 1 Corinthians 11 that Paul told us there must be heresies so those approved could be manifest. Here in 1 John the same making manifest of something or someone is found again. The test of time shows who is going to be a disciple and who is not. Thank God salvation is a birth and not a journey, but the Christian walk is a day by day process. It will come out if you are or are not applying yourself to the truth in time. It will be manifest whether you are following an antichrist spirit or not. This is more than salvation. This has to do with fellowship and abiding in Christ.

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You will either trust God for assurance of salvation based on what God said or you will not. You will either believe you have God’s words for all your needs or you will not. Those that believe know. Those that will not cannot ever know unless they repent of their unbelief. John 7:17. If you believe what God said you have the unction right now. You do not need to wait for some second working of grace, some new anointing or some gift to come upon you. Is God lying? No. You know the truth or you do not. If you say you cannot know, then you are lying. Your fellowship is not with God. You are denying him and being led by a spirit of antichrist. Stop it.

Do you see yet why this is so important? Maybe you have fallen to this temptation and dwell in the wrong spirit even though you received an invitation to believe on Christ and responded in faith at the onset. How can you turn from the heresy you abide in presently? Look at Gal 5:19-21. Heresy is a work of the flesh just like murder or fornication. You should treat it as such instead of pandering it like American education has taught you to do. You must turn your back on those lies in your thinking and embrace God’s mind in the scriptures. Be filled with the Spirit and you will bear the fruit of the Spirit in time. See Galatians 5:22-26. Are you tired of only bearing the fruit of your own mind? Prov. 23:7.

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Titus 3:8-11 joins staying away from heresy with maintaining good works. Eph. 2:10. Like I said before, study is not the beginning and end. If you spend all your time in study, you will fall into the trap of endless questions and arguments. You will waste much effort in debating. Yes, you should earnestly contend for the faith as Jude says. Jude 3. Yes, you should dispute daily at times like Paul did. Acts 19:9. This needs to be tempered with good works to keep you from being a busybody. 1 Peter 4:15. You need to be kept from becoming disorderly. 2 Thess. 3. You cannot sit and “chat” all the time. 2 Kings 7:3.

Finally, go to 2 Peter 2:1-11. The problem of false teachers and heresies is an abundant issue today. Doctrine is the first reason scripture was given according to 2 Tim 3:16. It can seem daunting and knowing the tendency and temptation in the last days includes a prophecy that many will not endure sound doctrine. 2 Tim. 4:3. What is a Christian to do? Noah and Lot are emphasized in this passage. God kept them. God delivered them. God is able to keep you, but how can you avoid destroying yourself in these perilous times? Noah and Lot did not finish well.

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Association with believers who suffer something for the truth and name of Christ is not enough. Study is not enough. Knowledge is not enough. Being a witness to others is not enough. Judging yourself is not enough. Good works are not enough. What is the ultimate progressive inoculation or daily vitamins against the heresies? How do I do my best to prevent becoming a heretic? Simple trust that God is a good guy and won’t let me fail is naive and stupid. Others better than you have failed and died in obscurity.

Go back to 1 Peter 1:16-21 and get the context in relation to chapter 2 if it didn’t come to mind from previous use. We have a more sure word of prophecy! We have something more certain than if we had been with Peter on the mount of transfiguration when James and John also saw Jesus in his glory between Moses and Elijah. It is something to be heeded. It is to be compared with itself. It is by this daily walk of belief and faith in what God said that inspiration will flow from your life in Christ to others and before the world around you. It is the preserving factor of your fruitfulness for today.

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Salvation is settled the moment you believe. It is a birth. John 3. Maintenance for good fellowship and fruit bearing is only by being a living witness. John 15. You must be a live inspiration of the words of God because you too believe now that it is…today…the words of the living God. You may lapse at times. You will be wrong sometimes, but the inoculation against the heresies comes from you being given to the word and then giving it out through your life. It is inspired in all those that witness to it now. These are that living embodiment of truth. It’s not just words on a page.

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

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About the Author ()

After serving for 6 years at the top of Alaska in Point Lay, the Bernick Family moved 90 miles further northeast to Wainwright. They are full-time working missionaries. Chad works as a pastor to the village through the Baptist church and responds with the local EMS/fire fighter crew. His wife, Sarah, daily home schools their six children and hosts a sewing class twice a week. They have been in arctic Alaska since 2008.

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