THE PRINCIPLES OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
LITMUS TEST INDICATORS TO ADDRESS CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
Which reflects the Gospel of Grace during the Church Age
Will Your Religion Meet These Criteria?
are some indicators we can apply to test Christian beliefs and doctrines.
These will help to gauge if the correct Gospel is being modeled.
we feel driven rather than led
we can be pretty sure in is not in accordance with the Gospel. It
is not God's nature to drive us.
If we feel condemned rather than loved, we can be pretty sure
it is not God for God is merciful and full of compassion.
we feel fearful rather than peaceful, we can be pretty sure it
is not from God, for God has not given us the spirit of fear.
If we feel threatened with consequences rather than encouraged,
we can be pretty sure it is not God, for God did not send His son
to condemn the world but to save it.
Since we are promoting a doctrine which is based upon Jesus the Messiah,
Church Doctrine needs to come into alignment with foundational Biblical
standards, and not evolve into a system of human understandings
or philosophy, it would be appropriate and good to go back to the
ministry which Jeshua (Jesus) himself practiced and defined. What
kind of ministry was it? How was it enacted or exercised? If we need
a point of reference, we need to compare the person to person ministry
and relationships to people that Jesus modeled, for these are the
model not only of spiritual fellowship, but also loving
universalist or Eastern view that God is in every person and only
needs to be actualized, is not Biblical. Man is not a divine race
but a fallen race. All Human lives require a work of redemption through
faith in the Redeemer and not a work done by self will.
False Prophets in the Last Days
of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ravenous wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive
I think it is time to tune up our discernment as the final days approach.
It has always been a quirk of human nature to be misled. Charismatic
leaders both Christian and Non Christian rise up and deceive many. The
problem with making judgments is that we have our eyes on Religion,
men or ministries more than our eyes upon Jesus who is the author and
finisher of our faith. 2Cor11:19,20
Paul Addresses the problem of false prophets and apostles "-- For ye
suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. "For ye suffer,
if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take
of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face."
faithful to the essential doctrine of salvation by "grace"
through faith are typically guarded toward anything that expresses a
"spiritual" manifestation, for fear that it is demonic or out of order.
They "resist the Holy Spirit" as Stephen declared to the Religious leaders
who stoned him calling him an apostate. Their discernment was totally
Charismatics, on the
other hand, may allow Spiritual manifestation but have difficulty discerning
that which is "soulish" and that which is Spirit. High emotion
or energy has come to become itself an indicator of Spirituality. However,
Spirit is not of the mind or emotion though it may be viewed as very
onlooking unbeliever points to what may be spiritual and allows that
it merely emotion or feelings.)
1. Meekness of Character:
Jesus and the True
Apostles must always be the role model and the rule of character. Paul's
letter to Ephesus, in Chapter 4 indicates that we one day grow and mature
into a perfect man in the exact facsimile of Jesus Christ. This is a
key Scripture!. Jesus declares in
Matthew 11:29, 29 " -- Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:' and " 10:1 Now I Paul myself
beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence
am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:" 2Cor 10:1
2. Denying self and
taking up the cross:
Any person who becomes
a big name, a superstar, or a kind of spiritual idol is quickly on the
road of becoming a false prophet or false teacher. Jesus corrected the
early disciples who he sent to minister in "his name" they came back
full of self exaltation, Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice
not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because
your names are written in heaven. Jesus took the focus off themselves.
They had learned their lesson by the time Peter and John met the crippled
man at the Gate: Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered
unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look
ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had
made this man to walk? The flesh, self exaltation or self promotion
is slow to die. Therefore we must at sometime grow to understand the
mystery of being crucified with Christ through baptism.
3: Selling out to
the world and FAME --The error of Balaam
was a false prophet
who "sold out" to the pagan world system. He was willing sell his gift
for gain and bring a curse to the people of God. NT writings remind
of this danger. Peter, (2Peter 2:15)Jude and the Revelation
Jude 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain,
and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished
in the gainsaying of Core. Revelation 2:14 " -- 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 stumbling block before the children
of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Gainsaying of Core refers to a leader of Israel who always contended
for Moses' leadership. Moses, was called 'the meekest man on earth'
and Core probably assumed that he was much more dynamic and qualified
for leadership. He contended for authority that was not given to him.
He finally was swallowed up by Hell.
4. False prophets
bring in Doctrines of Demons
Any of the varieties
and flavors of worldly behaviors or motivations which are not governed
by the meekness and gentleness of Christ and Jesus' selfless love of
. There is a list of behaviors called the works of the flesh probably*
are demonically inspired. Galatians 5: 19 Now the works of the
flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,
strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of
the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that
they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
*James 3:14, 15 (14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in
your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This
wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish
Test Your Christian Beliefs
I remember being born again.
I remember being baptized.
I know the experience of being renewed in mind and spirit.
I have experienced a miracle.
I believe Jesus lives in me.
God answers my prayers.
God speaks to me.
I have trouble knowing if it is God or me, thinking.
Discuss these and decide where some differences in doctrine
Is for those who can understand it
Needs additional books to explain it and complete it
Is revealed by the Holy Spirit
Is the sole source of doctrine and spiritual wisdom
Is equal to other revelations from God such as the Vedas
Is a picture of Jesus Christ
Is the House of God
Is where we Go on Sundays for worship services
Is not a building but people
Is in charge of the spiritual life of the fellowship
Is in charge of safeguarding doctrine
Is most qualified to do spiritual works
Is equipped with supernatural gifting and enablements
Is the work of trained church workers
Is modeled after Jesus Christ's spiritual works
Is what every disciple does
The Holy Spirit
Is a Separate God
Never speaks for Himself
The most perfect man because He did not sin
Eternal God incarnate in Man
A man who had more of the Holy Spirit
A being God created
Was God's plan
Was a blood sacrifice
Was Pilate's fault
Allowed God to curse His Son
Freed man from the legal control of Satan
Meant we could be resurrected
Made it possible for us to be like Jesus
Set Jesus above all persons and things
We could still be Christians without it
The New Creation
Is based upon a witness and a confession and a miracle
Is an acceptance and a commitment
Makes a person new inside as one 'begotten'
May or may not be felt
The Spirit Man
Is a higher form of the unconscious mind
Resides and comes forth from the mind
Bears witness to the Word of God
Yearns to be with God
God's will and thoughts
Have all been expressed in the Word
Will be revealed in the right time
May be directed toward us personally
Can not be known
Is a foolish superstition
Is in charge of angels
Leaves Christians alone
Brings death, darkness and destruction
Is done by Jesus on our behalf
Is done by us in Jesus name
Is done in silent prayer
Is not our problem
Is the same as spiritual warfare
Is not possible without being born again
Requires the baptism of the spirit to be effective
May be the result of a curse
Are subject to Jesus name
Are put upon man to test us by God
Have a spiritual source
Is reciting familiar prayers
Includes listening and saying
Should be done with confident expectancy
Includes praise and thanksgiving
Is offered to the Father
Is prayed to the Holy Spirit
Is directed to Jesus
Is prayed as though Jesus, not us is praying
Holy Spirit prayer
Is prayed in other tongues
Is spontaneous utterances and leadings
Is carefully planned or written
Has power and fervency
Should be banished from church
Is sacred and personal traditions
Is something that God loves
Adds power through many anointing gifts
Brings confusion to the service
Needs to be learned through practice
Has no place in a modern church service
Praying in the spirit
Should not occur without an interpretation
Should not be confused with a message in tongues
Brings the mind in conformity with the Spirit
Is not understood by angels
Walking in the spirit
Is not possible without the baptism of the Spirit
Is the same as a good feeling or positive attitude
Is functioning in the mind and emotions of Christ
Is using willpower to keep lusts in check
Is more enlightened than it once was
Has no knowledge of truth and goodness
Will be judged for rejecting Jesus' gospel
Has no answers for Christians
Everyone is born a sinner
God sees Christians as sinners
Christians need to keep religious laws, commandments
Sin gives Satan an opportunity in us
Church members will go to heaven
Hell is promised to any not in the book of life
Confession of sin brings forgiveness
Those who reject Jesus can not know God
Jesus brings salvation
Baptism brings salvation
Good deeds bring salvation
We can't know with certainty that we will go to heaven
"Sons & daughters of God"
Believers are given the right to act
as Jesus in this present world.
Evil doers like Ted Bundy who have
sought forgiveness with a sincere heart
are granted forgiveness through the cross.
LIBERTY OF THE
CHILDREN OF GOD
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is Liberty"
to liberty tests our individual insights. What is this liberty? How
is this liberty to be expressed in the new testament church? What
is its implication in terms of headship or leadership? 4. When
is it evident that Christian liberty is impeded or has been violated?
God grants and imparts a particular kind of liberty which is according
to His nature, through His Word. What ways is this liberty expressed?
"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."
-- Psalm 119:45
God's desire for his
people is freedom from bondage or liberty is announced by His prophets.
"This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that
the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were
at Jerusalem, to proclaim LIBERTY unto them;" -- Jeremiah
34:8 "But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant,
and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at LIBERTY at their pleasure,
to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants
and for handmaids." -- Jeremiah 34:16
Jesus announces God's
desire for his people is freedom from bondage or LIBERTY.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach
the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to
preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty them that are bruised," -- Luke
Jesus criticizes the
scribes and Pharisees for their placing burdens upon the shoulders of
"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them
on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them - -."
-- Mat 23:4
The Apostle Paul
addresses the matter of LIBERTY, frequently.
"Because the creature
itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the
glorious liberty of the children of God." -- Rom 8:21
(Is it only freedom from following religious laws or does it pertain
to the expression in worship and fellowship also?)
"Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty
judged of another man's conscience?" -- 1 Corinthians
10:29 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is liberty." -- 2 Corinthians 3:17
False Brethren began
to place the children of God into bondage again.
(What comprises this sort of bondage?)
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in
privily to spy out our LIBERTY which we have in Christ Jesus, that they
might bring us into bondage:" -- Gal 2:4 "To whom
we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of
the gospel might continue with you." -- Gal 2:5 "Stand
fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and
be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
-- Gal 5:1
Peter addresses liberty
in his epistle, evidently having learned some lessons from Paul.
"As free, and not using your LIBERTY for a cloak of maliciousness, but
as the servants of God." -- 1 Pet 2:16
Burden bearing is
ministering to people so that the yoke is made easier.
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
-- Gal 6:2
Self exaltation is
a spiritual deception which causes certain people to suppress
"For if a man
think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
-- Gal 6:3 "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he
have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."
-- Gal 6:4
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that
is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;
but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure
of faith." -- Rom 12:3 "Let us not be desirous
of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
-- Gal 5:26
"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing
one another in love;" -- Eph 4:2 "Endeavoring to keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." --
Where does edification
come from in the new testament church?
Is it from the teachings or preaching of a single authority?
The body provides
a variety of gifts in the person of other believers for the mutual gain
and edification of all.
"Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us
to the glory of God." -- Rom 15:7
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the
same office:" -- Rom 12:4
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to
us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of
faith;" -- Rom 12:6 "Or ministry, let us wait on our
ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;" --
Rom 12:7 "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let
him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth
mercy, with cheerfulness." -- Rom 12:8
The body of believers
come together for mutual edification.
"How is it then,
brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath
a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
Let all things be done unto edifying." -- 1 Corinthians
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and
things wherewith one may edify another." -- Rom 14:19
"Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification."
-- Rom 15:2
is focused toward edification and liberty in correct doctrine.
"For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the
Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I
should not be ashamed:" (What is it that brings forth
purpose of the gifts of ministry described in Ephesians 4:11
"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ:" -- Eph
4:12 "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted
by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the
edifying of itself in love." -- Eph 4:16 (Every
part's participation and every part's increase causes the body
Leadership is not like that of the rulers of the gentiles, Scribes
or Pharisees , What does this mean?
"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon
you no greater burden than these necessary things;"
-- Acts 15:28 "And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was
chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren
which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept
myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself."
-- 2 Corinthians 11:9" - - I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive
me this wrong." -- 2 Corinthians 12:13 - -"Behold,
the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome
to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not
to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children."
-- 2 Corinthians 12:14 (Speaking as a spiritual father to provide
necessities for the children.) - -"But we were gentle among you, even
as a nurse cherishes her children:" -- 1 The 2:7
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