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Seven Reasons To Avoid False Doctrine

By E. L. Bynum

Our text is Matthew 15:1-20. Please read it!

People often are disturbed by the strong militant stand that we take against false doctrine. They do not understand the awful consequences that come from the promotion, and yes, the toleration of false doctrine. While some facets of false doctrine may seem to be harmless, it really is not.

False doctrine is any doctrine that is not based upon the Bible, the Word of God. "For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law". (Prov. 4:2) If the doctrine does not come from God, then there are only two other possible sources for its origin. (1) The doctrine comes from sinful man, a polluted source for anything. "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mark 7:7) (2) The doctrine comes from Satan the arch deceiver and enemy of God. "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;..." (1 Timothy 4:1) So, we can see there are only three sources for all doctrine. If the doctrine did not come from God, it should be rejected, because there is no other dependable source for doctrine.

Some people simply do not want to hear doctrine at all. They do not understand the meaning of doctrine, or the importance placed upon it in the Bible. This has been perpetuated by many preachers, who preach little or no doctrine at all.

The word doctrine is found 55 times in the Bible. Forty-nine of those times it is found in the New Testament. This does not include the many other ways that this Greek word is translat ed. These all come from the Greek word "didache," or some variation of it. It basically means doc trine or teaching, and to be sound it has to come from God. The doctrine is the teaching of the whole Bible. Christianity is an empty shell without doctrine, and is utterly useless. The preacher who does not preach sound doctrine has nothing to preach, nothing whatsoever. He should shut up his mouth, change his vocation, and get a job selling cars or insurance. (No offense intended for insurance or car salesmen).

In fact the Bible specifically warns believers not to become involved in false doctrines. "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. (Heb. 13:9)

Now let us consider the 7-reasons why we should avoid and expose false doctrine.

I. False Doctrine Is Based Upon Tradition.

"Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matt. 15:1-2)

False doctrine cannot be truly based upon the Word of God. Often they twist the Bible to try to prove their teaching, but their doctrine is based upon human tradition. Paul warns of the danger of following human tradition. "(4) And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (22) Which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men?" (Col. 2:4,8,22)

False Doctrine Detracts From Christ. Colossians Chapter 2 exalts Jesus Christ. False doctrine leads people away from Christ. Notice how he is trying to point them back to Christ. Speaking of Christ, he writes, (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowl edge. (6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:..." (Col. 2:3,6,7,9,10)

False Doctrine Practiced Today. Roman Catholics worship Mary and call her the Mother of God. This is not found in the Bible, but originated with the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. The Catholic priest conducts the mass, which is the re-sacrifice of Christ. This tradition of man was started in 394 A.D. and is blasphemous. They believe in the doctrine of purgatory, where people go after death to suffer for their sins, before going on to heaven. Good Catholics have to pay to get their relatives prayed out of purgatory. This is nothing but the tradition of man, and it was started in 593 A.D. The celibacy of the priesthood, was started in the year 1079 A.D. By refusing to let the priests marry, they have caused untold thousands of priests to be homosexuals and others to commit adultery. This is a part of the religion that is based upon human tradition.

Confession of sins to a priest, was instituted by Pope Innocent III, in the Lateran Council in 1215 A.D. This a terrible departure from the truth, and an evil tradition of man. I could go on and on with the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

Through the ecumenical movement, the devil is attempting to unite all churches to the Roman Catholic apostate denomination. This has been the goal of the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. Most Protestant denominations belong to these apostate councils of churches.

Promise Keepers And False Doctrines.The Promise Keepers are now bringing all denominations together, with the set purpose of tearing down the walls that divide. They have accepted Roman Catholics as Christian brothers, without the Catholics giving up the false doctrines listed above. They want us to accept the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholics, Mormons, Charismatics, and Liberals. They want us to call these people brothers in Christ, and to fellowship with them.

Promise Keepers is the most deadly, deceptive, and dangerous movement to appear in the 20th Century. It is the devil's masterpiece of ecumenical deception. It is breaking down the wall of separation between Bible believers and heretics. It is being used to infiltrate Independent Baptist Churches through the men of the church. This undermines the doctrinal position of true churches, and undermines the authority and leadership of the pastor. Fundamental churches must resist it with all their might.

II. False Doctrine Transgress Commandments

" also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ...Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." (Matt. 15:3,6) Many people think there is no harm in the religious traditions of man. There is much harm, because they transgress the doctrines of God. In the context of these verses, we find that these religious Jews used tradition, so they could disobey the Word of God. (See verses 4-6). These rich people would not honour their father and mother. Fathers and mothers were in need, and they were obligated to support them. However, they said, it is a gift, and thus avoided this support. They were simply saying, we cannot help father or mother because what we have has been dedicated to God. This was simply a sinful way to try to escape their financial responsibility.

They were simply transgressing the Word of God. They were in deep sin. Paul clearly states the depth of such sin. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Tim. 5:8) They were simply denying the law of God. "It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law." (Psa. 119:126)

Those who are promoting false doctrine ignore the Bible doctrine of separation, or any other doctrine that gets in their way.

Making The Doctrines Of God Of None Effect. The promoters of false doctrine cover their tracks by twisting Scripture. Every wino knows the verse which says, "...use a little wine for thy stomach's sake...". (1 Tim. 5:23) Of course he ignores the many, many Scriptures, which warn against using fermented wine as a beverage.

Promise Keepers and other compromisers, will quote Matthew 7:1 with vigor. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matt. 7:1) They completely ignore other verses in this chapter, such as, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matt. 7:15) How are you going to know false prophets, if you do not judge them? How can you expose the wolves in sheep's clothing, if you do not judge whether they are sheep or wolves?

They ignore the verses about the trees and the fruit. "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:16-20) You must judge a tree by its fruits. Even so, you can judge false teachers the same way.

Jesus warned of the two gates and the two ways. The broad way leads to destruction, while the narrow way leads to life everlasting. How will you know which way is the narrow way, if you do not pass judgment? "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it". (Matt. 7:13-14)Jesus Christ commanded that we judge righteous judgment. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment". (John 7:24) Paul admonished the Church at Corinth to do that very thing, when he told them that he had already judged the fornicator in the Church. He urged the whole Church to judge him. (See 1 Cor. 5:1- 13)

When Jesus said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matt. 7:1), He is talking about hypocritical judgment. If you study vs. 2-5, you will certainly understand this.

III. False Doctrine Is Hypocritical. v. 7,8

The false teachers, during the days of Jesus, were always judging others, and they did it in a hypocritical way, just as he warned against in Matt. 7:1-5. In our text, He pointed out their hypocrisy. "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me". (Matt. 15:7-8)

Hypocrite is a word which means, "a stage player, actor, or pretender." That is exactly what the false teachers are. Promise Keepers fill large stadiums with many thousands of men who talk about love and brotherhood. Yet, if you disagree with them, they can be very vindicative and hateful. I have a friend who has a lot of material about Promise Keepers on the Internet web page. He sent me a list of very hateful letters that he has received from Promise Keepers. It is the same way with all the promoters of false doctrine. They talk about love and being broad minded, but there is no love nor broad mindedness toward those who hold to the truth.

Recently, Bill McCartney, former football coach of the University of Colorado was in town. He is the founder of Promise Keepers, and a tireless promoter of their agenda. He was here to speak at the Mexican Baptist Convention (Southern Baptist), and to promote the PK movement. He also spoke to a private meeting of about 50 clergymen, at the Central Church of Christ. Apparently this meeting was to reach the black people of East Lubbock.

He was interviewed by the religious editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. I am quoting the following from that interview: "He has a warning for skeptics who do not want the Promise Keepers movement in their churches. I really believe they better be careful that he (God) doesn't pass them by because this is a movement of God. Those that sit back are at risk,' McCartney said." (LAJ 6-26-96) (Emphasis ours).

I have news for the famous Bill McCartney. Promise Keepers is not a movement of God, and they are on the wrong road, the one that leads to destruction. In their spiritual ignorance, these people are deceived, but they are confident that they are right. What a sad day for these people when they wake up and find out that they have missed the way, and the truth, and the life.

IV. False Doctrine Leads To Vain Worship

All false doctrine leads to vain worship. It is empty, useless, and detrimental to those who believe and practice it. "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matt. 15:9) All the commandments of men consist of false doctrines, because they do not get it from the Bible. When Promise Keepers and the other false religionists tell us that we must get together with modernists, Mormons and Mary worshippers, they are teaching false doctrine. When they tell us that we must worship with wild charismatic heretics, such as Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Hagin, they are asking us to engage in vain wor ship.

The Bible warns us of these false prophets, with their false doctrine and vain worship. "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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;... (1 Tim. 4:1-2) Multitudes are now departing from the faith. They think that they are right, but in reality they are giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. This is exactly what the above Scripture is talking about.

We are further warned not to be carried about with these divers and strange doctrines. "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." (Heb. 13:9)

V. False Doctrine Is Defiling. v. 11

False teachers are nearly always taking the wrong side on Biblical doctrines. The Pharisees thought that men were defiled by eating with unwashed hands. They never realized that the false doctrine proceeding out of their mouths, was the thing that defiled men. Jesus told them so in no uncertain terms. "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matt. 15:11)

We are to be on the lookout for the false prophets, which come in sheep's clothing. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matt. 7:15) The faithful pastor will warn the men of his church against Promise Keepers, charismatics, modernists, Mormons, and Roman Catholics. It is not popular to do so, but we must do so, if we are going to be true to Christ. The pastor who will not do so is a weak Willie, and will live to see wolves in sheep's clothing steal his flock.

Their false doctrine, is called leaven, by Jesus. "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matt. 16:6) This false doctrine is a powerful ingredient. A little leaven can cause a whole loaf of bread to puff and rise, so it fills the baking pan. Even so, false doctrine spreads, puffs up, and pollutes the truth with poison. This is exactly what is going on in the religious world today.

One whole chapter of 2 Peter is devoted to warning against false teachers. While we cannot quote it all, consider these verses. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Pet. 2:1) Some might say, Promise Keepers do not deny Christ. When they lead you to fellowship with Mormons, they are leading you to deny Christ. The Mormons believe that Jesus is an elder brother of Satan. They believe that He is a created being, and that Mormons can become Gods. If this is not a denial of Christ, I would like to know what it is.

The Roman Catholics worship Mary, and that worship belongs to Christ. That is a denial of Christ. They pray to Mary, and that is a blasphemous denial of Christ. They conduct the horrible Mass, and that is a denial of the sacrifice of Christ. They pray to Mary, and the saints, and that is a denial of Christ.

Many people are impressed by the tremendous numbers of men that pack stadiums all over the nation, under the leadership of Promise Keepers. That should never impress the mature Christian. We know that many people are attracted to false doctrine. "And manyshall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Pet. 2:2) Of course there are some born again Christians that are involved with Promise Keepers, but they are deceived by false teachers.

Promise Keepers was started by people involved in the charismatic movement. It flowed out of the Vineyard Fellowship. This is the same group that produced the so-called laughing revival. Oh yes, they are going to break down the walls that divide Christians. They are going to end racism. They make it all sound so good, but they are defiling the religious world with false doctrine. "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error." (2 Pet. 2:18)

VI. False Doctrines Will Be Rooted Up. v. 13

The disciples were concerned, because the Pharisees were offended by the strong teaching of our Lord. "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?" (Matt. 15:12) It is so today, when we expose the false doctrine promoted by false teachers today, some well meaning Christians are concerned that we have offended Promise Keepers, Catholics, and charismatics. Our answer should include what Jesus said. "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." (Matt. 15:13)

Today, the tares are growing among the wheat. The tares are the false teachers and their offspring. They were sown by the devil. The day is coming when their folly will be fully revealed. "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world." (Matt. 13:38-40)

VII. False Doctrine Brings Disaster. v. 14

When the blind lead the blind, disaster awaits them. That is the reason that we are doing our best to warn people of the awful result of following false doctrine. "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:14) Many people are following these spiritually blind false teachers, and they are being led into the ditch. They desperately need someone to warn them, that they might flee from the wrath to come.

Destruction Awaiting The Deceived. The ditch that many will fall in, is the fires of an eternal hell. How sad that many are missing the strait gate, and have entered the broad way that leads to destruction. (Matt. 7:13-14) It will be disastrous to those who fail to beware of false prophets, and who are devoured by ravening wolves in sheep's clothing. (Matt. 7:15-20)It will be a shock to that multitude who have built their spiritual house on the shifting sands instead of the Rock of Ages. (Matt. 7:24-27) The destiny of all these deceived people who remain in deception, is horrible beyond words. Jesus described it clearly in the following passage: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23)

Are we glad that this deceived mob of religious people are on the road to hell? Of course not, for we would like to see them all come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. False doctrine is so deadly, because the followers of it have such a horrible future to look forward to. May God help us to use every means possible, to bring them to the knowledge of the truth.

What Should Bible Believers Do? We are told to withdraw from such people. "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." (1 Tim. 6:5)

We are not to believe everyone that comes along with some new doctrine or practice. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) We are to try them with the Word of God. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20)

We are told that we are to mark them and avoid them. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Rom. 16:17) We are commanded to rebuke them. "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;..." (Tit. 1:13) We are to have no fellowship with them. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph. 5:11)

We are to withdraw from them. "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." (2 Thess. 3:6) We are to reject all false teachers, for they are heretics. "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;..." (Tit. 3:10) We are to separate from them, and not to fellowship with them.Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,... (2 Cor. 6:17). "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph. 5:11)