Communion

Written by Drew on March 6th, 2006

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17).

The Lord’s Supper is properly called “communion.” Paul called it a “participation” (“communion,” KJV) in the blood of Christ and in the body of Christ. “Participation” translates koinonia in the Greek which involves “fellowship,” “sharing,” or, as the ESV translates it, “participation.” Therefore, the elements of the Lord’s Supper–the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine–symbolize a close bond with the body and blood of the Lord.

A person who lacks this relationship with Christ partakes of this memorial feast in an unworthy manner.

If a Christian is not walking with God because of sin, he cannot honestly symbolize his participation in the blood of Christ by drinking the fruit of the vine in the Lord’s Supper. John said, “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:5-7). Fellowship with the blood of the Lamb, or continual cleansing, is conditioned upon our “walking in the light.” Those who walk in darkness, but observe the Lord’s Supper, are mere pretenders.

If a Christian has a divisive spirit, he cannot in good conscience represent his participation in the body of Christ by eating the bread of the Lord’s Supper. We are to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3); there is to be “no division in the body” (1 Cor. 12:25). Sowers of discord make a mockery of what is supposed to be a solemn banquet when they eat the Lord’s Supper.

These things and others were on Paul’s mind when he wrote: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27).

Brethren, mind your table manners.

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    What are some verses showing the importance of partaking of communion weekly, in comparison to some of the Denominational beliefs and practices.

  2. Drew Kizer says:

    Good question. Consider the following two scriptures:

    1. Acts 20:7 plainly shows that the saints met in Troas for the expressed purpose of “breaking bread.” Since communion was part of their purpose for meeting, and not simply something they did because they were already together in one place, we know it is important to partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.

    2. In 1 Corinthians 11:20 Paul rebukes the church at Corinth because when they assembled it was not to eat the Lord’s Supper. The implication is that they were to take communion every time they came together. When did they meet? The answer is found in chapter 16, verse 2 of that same letter: “on the first day of every week” (NASB, ESV).

    The Lord’s Supper is a memorial commemorating the Lord’s death, which is the foundation of Christian faith. Why wouldn’t we want to observe it every week?

  3. Brian A. Yeager says:

    Why Are So Many Afraid to Call a Dog – “A DOG”?

    by Brian A. Yeager

    When one reads of false brethren and those teaching error (false teachers / prophets) throughout the word of God you find that they were labeled, at times, in colorful ways. Of the watchman in Israel, Isaiah penned the following: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter” (Isaiah 56:10-11).

    Today we find that the “politically correct” mindset has influenced brethren. Too many are afraid to identify false teachers for what they really are. Too many hold their tongues when it comes to identifying those who are teaching error that will lead others to Hell. One wrote me recently chiding me saying, in part, “neither Jesus nor Paul engaged in name-calling”. This was said after I appropriately identified a false teacher as a liar. Why was it appropriate? Notice the following: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:3-4). Calling a false teacher a liar is not only okay, it is authorized by way of example (Titus 1:12).

    If you identify a false teacher today for what he is you will be the one that is condemned by many so-called “brethren”. These “brethren” are ignorant of what the word of God shows us in relation to identifying the false teacher. They are weak minded and more like a deceptive politician than Jesus Christ who, as we will see in this article, will identify a dog as a dog! If we are to claim to follow the example of Christ we need to understand that using strong terms that truly identify those who are false, however non-politically correct they may be, is right!

    Jesus – The Master Name Caller

    I shall allow the Scriptures to speak own their own for the majority of this part of the article. What would Jesus say to false teachers / false brethren today? The answers: “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:12-14). “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves… Ye fools and blind… Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites… Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel… Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity… Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:15, 17, 23, 24, 27-28, and 33)? Guess what – Jesus was a name-caller!

    Sometimes people will do things such as asking questions to tempt us or try to entangle us in our speech. Questions, at times, are asked to cause strife or even to try and teach false doctrine (II Timothy 2:23 and Titus 3:9). Some tried these tactics with Jesus. He did not respond with the typical politically correct responses of some “brethren” today. Try to entangle Jesus in His talk and He’ll respond saying: “…Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites” (Matthew 22:18)? Try to tempt Jesus by asking Him about marriage in the resurrection and He’ll respond saying: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Today, somebody would jump all over a preacher if he said someone was ignorant after they asked a question. Would they do so also of Jesus?

    Jesus teaches that there are such things as people who are dogs and swine (Matthew 7:6). In fact, Peter used such terms in a context dealing with false teachers: “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:22). Jesus tells us that we can know false teachers / false brethren by the fruit of their works (Matthew 7:16; 20). Jesus teaches us that we can judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). We can know a person is a dog or a pig from what they do! If we know them as such, we can follow the scriptural examples cited above and those following as examples in calling them what they are. Of course, when you do this you will be told you are lost. You will even be told that you are unloving. Are those charges correct?

    Are We Unloving When we “Call Names”?

    I do not believe that any man could claim to be more loving than Jesus Christ who bled and died to offer salvation to all mankind (Romans 5:6ff.). Yet, as we have seen, Jesus was not soft in speech when it came to those who were doing wrong. Even to Christians, Jesus would tell them how they were lukewarm and He would spew them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:15-16). Sin sickens our Lord and should sicken us too. Love is to rebuke and chasten those in error (Revelation 3:19). We need to learn to love that which is good and to hate evil. If we do so, we will not hesitate to call names when identifying those who are evildoers.

    What If Your Terms Imply Hatred?

    Paul, by means of inspiration, wrote saying: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9). Let’s think about this verse for a moment. Dissimulation means hypocrisy. Thus, we are to love without hypocrisy. Loving God means obedience to God (John 14:15, I John 2:5, and I John 5:2-3). If we endorse those practicing error and claim to love God, we are hypocrites. If we associate with those doing evil and claim to love God, we are hypocrites (II John 6-11). Secondly, we are to abhor that which is evil. To abhor means to hate. Thus, we are to hate that which is evil (Psalms 26:5; 97:10, Proverbs 8:13, and Amos 5:15). Finally, on this one verse, we are told to cleave to that which is good. To cleave is to hang on to. We should hold fast to that which is good (I Thessalonians 5:21).

    Seeing what we have discussed in this section of our article, there are some things that need to be made very clear. If you love truth you will HATE error. Thus, when you speak of those promoting, practicing, and supporting error; hatred will be heard and seen in what you say: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Psalms 101:3). We should take hold to the words of the Psalmist: “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128). When the Lord addressed the complacent Christians in Pergamos, who did not deal with false teachers among them, He said: “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Revelation 2:15). Why aren’t brethren talking like people who HATE sin? Hmm, maybe the answer rests in the sympathies many brethren show for those despicable false teachers that are roaming about today.

    Conclusion

    We could examine more examples of texts within the word of God where we see sharp terms used against and in description of false teachers and all manner of sinners. I for one cannot see how more should be needed. When someone needs to be called a snake, you should do so (Matthew 3:7). If someone needs to be called Satan or the child of Satan, you call them that (Matthew 16:23 and John 8:44). Be correct in the sight of God and be not concerned by the politics played by those among us pretending to be God’s people.

    As Christians we are supposed to follow the approved examples we read in the Scriptures. We should be rebuking false teachers sharply (Titus 1:13), not walking on egg shells when talking about them. Of course you can expect those false teachers that you speak sharply against to respond. They will ignorantly proclaim that you are hateful. They will blame you for their apostasy. They will say that you are running people away from the Lord’s church. Will you let those ignorant charges keep you from calling a dog what he is?

  4. Brian Yeager says:

    Objection is often raised even by some sound in the faith-regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry-namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

    Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch.” My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” It is as important in these days as in Paul’s-in fact, it is increasingly important-to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

    We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme-“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordainedto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3, 4). Paul likewise admonishes us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

    This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error-quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

    Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

    Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

    There is constant temptation to compromise. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

    Error is like leaven of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

    Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”-how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.
    Can’t We Just Preach The Gospel
    And Leave Others Alone?
    I have only one priority in the work I do – to please God.
    If I please God in my preaching and teaching, it matters not how men may view or regard the teaching. God is pleased, he is the judge. The only guide I have to follow is the Bible. What did Jesus say about truth and error? Read Matthew 23:13-39. In no less than 13 verses, Jesus rebukes in very strong language those who do not obey His will. Didn’t he know people would be offended? Yes, He did! (Matthew 15:10-14; John 6:59-61)

    How did God’s prophets and preachers through the centuries deal with error? When I do as they did, then I will be acceptable with God. Notice these scriptures: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). What kind of preaching did Jonah and Jeremiah do (Jonah 3:4; Jeremiah 7)? Pay careful attention to the preaching in the book of Acts. We are to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3).

    People tend to think that God
    will find a way to accept evil
    and those who practice it.

    How do you “contend for the faith” without exposing and exposing error? When Paul entered a city and preached, trouble followed. The truth disturbs people who love darkness (I Thessalonians 5:4-5). Truth and error are mortal enemies. They cannot and will not exist together without conflict and controversy! Satan will go to any length to keep error from being exposed! He hates the truth!

    Ephesians 5:11 says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”. It’s impossible to “preach the truth and leave others alone”. We are commanded to “reprove” all that is error. Reprove means to “convict, rebuke, expose”.

    How can I be faithful to God if I refuse to “rebuke” and “expose” evil?
    Some says it’s “unloving” to expose error. Is a father “unloving” when he rebukes his child for playing in the street? Not at all! It’s love that motivates him to expose and correct the child’s wrong action. Was John the Baptist wrong for calling the scribes and Pharisees “vipers” in Matthew 3:7-10? If so, then Jesus was too (Matthew 12:34)!

    The problem is that we fail to see sin and error as God does.
    Somehow we tend to smooth it over and make it not seem as bad as it is. Beloved, if this is our idea, we need to do more serious study of the Bible.

    Where has God EVER condemned anyone for exposing, rebuking, reproving and admonishing error? Let’s see that passage. Waiting . . .

    1. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment.
    One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, ‘“Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt.7: 1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning. In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v.1 is referring to hypocritical judgment. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain; you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.
    Those who cling to “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing…” (v.15). How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to warn the sheep of these “ravening wolves?” All through the Bible we find proof that they should be identified and exposed.
    “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” (v.16,17). Did the Lord mean that we could not judge the tree (person), by the fruit of their life and doctrine? Certainly not, for you cannot know without judging. All judgment should be on the basis of Bible teaching, not according to whims or prejudices.
    “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Here out Lord commands that we are to “judge righteous judgment,” which is judgment based upon the Word of God. If judgment is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matt.7:1. Webster’s Dictionary says that a judge is “one who declares the law.” The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of God’s inspired law, the Bible.
    A fornicator is described in 1 Cor.5: 1-13. ‘Paul “judged” (v.3) the man even though he was absent, and he told the church at Corinth that they were to “judge” (v.12) those that were within. The Greek word for “judge” is the same here as in Matt.7: 1. Paul did not violate “judge not, that ye be not judged,” in judging the man, nor in instructing the Church to judge also. All of this judgment was according to the Word of God.
    A person who is able to discern between good and evil, has at least one of the major marks of spiritual maturity. “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb.5: 14). W.E. Vine says of the meaning of discern, a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging; it is translated `discerning’ in 1 Cor. 12:10 of discerning spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God.” Strong also agrees that it means to judge.
    Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.

    II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers.
    False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many bible believers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many.
    John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) “a generation of vipers” (snakes) (Matt.3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.
    Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt.12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.
    Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” “blind,” “whitewashed sepulchers,” “serpents,” and “ye generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:23-34). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees. Some who say they are Bible believing Christians insist on working with Roman Catholics and other assorted heretics. Yet, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for their compromise.
    Near the beginning of His ministry, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:13-16). Our Savior is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind,` and loving, even to false teachers, but this is entirely false. When dealing with false teachers and prophets, His words were sharp and His actions plain.
    Near the end of His public ministry, Christ found it necessary to cleanse the temple once again. The exposure of false doctrines and practices is a never-ending job. At that time He said, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17). Is it any different today? The thieves come into the house of God, and rob God’s people of the Bible and peddle their perverted Bibles instead. At the same time this den of thieves rob the people of the doctrine of separation and the doctrine of sanctification. Then you can hardly tell God’s people from the people of the world. In all honesty, should not these thieves (false teachers) be exposed?
    In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, literature, movies, psychology, seminars, and have turned the Father’s house into a den of thieves. ‘It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.
    The Bible Admonishes Us To Expose Error.
    We are to TRY them. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to 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). Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God. The church at Ephesus was commended because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” (Rev.2: 14,15). It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed. Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.

    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). Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and to be avoided. This requires discernment and judgment in the light of the Bible. The ecumenicalists, new evangelicals, and compromising fundamentalists will resist any effort to obey this Scripture. They cannot be marked and avoided, unless they are judged according to the Word of God.

    We are to rebuke them.
    “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13). This was written to Titus, because there were those going from house to house and subverting whole houses with false doctrine (v.10-16). Oral Roberts, Robert Schuller, Rodney Howard-Browne, Pat Robertson, and others are subverting whole houses with their false doctrine today. Are we to sit silently by, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people to avoid their teaching? No, the faithful servant of the Lord is to be “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).

    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). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
    We are to WITHDRAW from them. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us” (II Thess.3:6). We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, “if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. (II Thess.3: 4-15). Paul admonished Timothy to “withdraw thyself” from those who “consent not to wholesome words … and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (II Timothy 4:2). This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.

    We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house.
    “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 10,11). There is no doubt about whom John is speaking about, it is “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ…” (v.9). radio, TV, and literature bring false prophets into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!

    We are to REJECT HERETICS.
    “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10). We should reject those why deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. `If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.
    We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus…. another spirit … or another gospel” (II Cor.11: 4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (II Cor. 11:13). `He explains in v.14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.
    Paul warned the Galatians about those who “pervert the gospel of Christ.” He also said, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (See Gal. 1:6-9). Multitudes today are preaching a perverted gospel. Those who teach salvation by baptism, or by works, are teaching a perverted gospel. Those who preach a salvation that you can lose, are preaching a perverted gospel. The charismatics, Catholics, many evangelicals, and many fundamentalists (?) are preaching a perverted gospel. Yet, we are supposed to cooperate with them in evangelism and Christian work, according to many today. If we fail to expose these false prophets, then we have betrayed Christ and His gospel.
    We are to SEPARATE from 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” (II Cor.6: 17). This makes it plain. God’s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error. How can any Bible believer remain in the National Council or World Council of Churches? How can they remain in the Southern Baptist Convention, or any of the other apostate organizations? How can they remain among compromising evangelicals and wishy-washy fundamentalists?

    III. It Is Right To Name Names
    Many mistakenly believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name the guilty teachers; but they are wrong according to the Bible.
    Paul named Peter publicly. Peter was guilty of unscriptural practice. ‘“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed…But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” (Gal.2: 11-14). The whole issue revolved around salvation by the law or by grace. When the integrity and purity of the gospel is at stake, then we have no choice when it comes to the matter of exposing error and naming names.

    Paul named Demas for loving the world. “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (II Tim. 4:10). Those who forsake the cause of Christ for worldly living and pleasure should be named and exposed.
    Paul named Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul told Timothy to “war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some have put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim.1: 18-20). God’s true servants should war a good warfare, and name those who have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Paul is not here discussing the faith of salvation but the faith was a system of doctrine. These men had made shipwreck of it and Paul exposed them and called their names.

    Paul named Hymenaeus and Philetus. He told Timothy to “study” that he might be able to “rightly” divide “the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth as canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (II Tim.2: 15-18). False doctrine overthrows the faith of some, so those who are proclaiming it must be exposed.

    Paul named Alexander the coppersmith. “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words” (II Tim.4: 14-15). It is clear that this is not a personality problem, but a doctrinal problem. Alexander had withstood the words and doctrine of Paul. He was an enemy to the truth. Godly pastors face the same problem every day. They stand and proclaim the truth, and then their members go home and hear this truth disputed by radio and TV preachers. Often times these false prophets are sending their publications into the homes of members of true churches. Then the man of God is supposed to keep his mouth shut, according to many. Only a coward will be silent when the truth of the Bible is under attack.

    John named Diotrephes. “I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not” (III John 9). He related how this man had prated again him “with malicious words” (v10). He further said, “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God, but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (v.11). It is not wrong to name those whose doctrine and practice is contrary to the Word of God.
    In fact, the whole Bible abounds in examples of false prophets being named and exposed. All this modern day talk about love, used as an excuse for not exposing error, is not really biblical love but is really sloppy agape.

    Moses called the name of Balaam. (See Num.22-25). Peter exposed “the way of Balaam…who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (II Pet.2: 15). Balaam was a prophet that was in the work for money, just like some of the TV false prophets today. They beg for money and live like kings, while multitudes of innocent people send them hard earned money. They are always building colleges, hospitals, TV network satellites, and amusement parks that have a water slide for Jesus. And then we are supposed to keep our mouth shut about these religious charlatans. How can we be silent and be true to God?
    Jude exposed “the error Balaam” (Jude 11). John exposed “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.” (Rev.2: 14). This gets right to the heart of the matter, concerning the doctrine of separation. Balaam never did curse Israel even though he wanted the wages that he was offered to do so. The men of Israel committed “whoredom with the daughters of Moab …and bowed down to their gods” (Num.25: 1,2). Why did they do this? Because Balaam taught Balac how to break down the barrier of separation between the Moabites and the Israelites. We know this to be so because it is plainly stated in Rev.2:14 and Num.31:16. This sin resulted in 24,000 men of Israel dying under the judgment of God.
    False teachers are breaking down the barrier of separation between God’s people and false religion. There is too little preaching and teaching on the doctrine of separation. Balaam breached the doctrine of personal separation by causing the men of Israel to commit fornication with the Moabite women. “He breached the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation by causing the men of Israel to bow down to Baal. This bought a curse upon Israel. Until we get back to teaching the truth about personal and ecclesiastical separation, we can expect the continued widespread havoc that we have today.
    It seems to be believed by many that some people are too high and mighty to be named or exposed. Men in high places, pastors of large churches, and those with great radio or TV audiences, are supposedly above criticism. Whatever they may do or say, no matter how contrary to the Bible it may be, is supposedly all right. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Nathan identified the man. There was a man in a very high place who was a secretly an adulterer. Surely a lowly unpopular prophet could not rebuke this man who held the highest office in the land. Nathan went right into the presence of David, revealed the sin in a parable form, and then told the enraged David, “Thou art the man” (II Sam.12: 7).

    Hanani named king Jehoshophat. In many ways Jehoshophat was a good king, but he mistakenly forgot to practice religious separation. He caused his son to marry wicked king Ahab’s daughter. (See II Chron.18: 1; 21:1-6). He made an alliance with Ahab and went to the battle of Ramoth-Gilead with him (II Chron. 19:2). We have a question for those who insist on working with charismatics, Catholics, and members of the National Council of Churches. “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?”
    Yes, it is right to expose error and to name those who are in error.
    DREW, It is right to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). It was once delivered and it has never been recalled for revision. We had better beware of “false teachers … who privily shall bring in damnable heresies” (II Pet.2: 1). Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of these heretics, and identify them by name. It is not enough to broadly hint of their identity, for the young lambs will not understand and will be destroyed by the wolves.

    The phrase “negative sermon” is one that just about gets a preacher’s blood to boil. Someone will make that statement after what may be a sermon that does not revolve around all positive things. Sometimes folks do not like to be told that they are not doing that which is right. They use passages against “negative preaching” such as (Colossians 4:6). This verse reads: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” We are going to examine in specific this verse, and then we will look at how Christ spoke.
    Let us think about salt. Salt first of all preserves. The word of God will also preserve the soul if we give our life to Christ, for the word is where salvation is (Romans 1:16). If we want to preserve our lives we must give our lives. (Luke 17:33) “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Salt also gives flavor. As a matter of fact it can have a spicy burning flavor, just as if we have accepted the word in our hearts. (Jeremiah 20:9) “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Finally salt, if enters into an open wound will burn. The word of God is promised to cut open the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    The statement, “that was a negative sermon”, is also defined by some as the preacher mentioning things other than salvation. When the preacher maybe speaks on false teachers. When someone gets upset at these things they are not thinking of how Christ taught. If Christ thought someone needed some “name calling” directed at him or her (when it was true), he did so. (Matthew 15:7-9) “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. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Calling someone a hypocrite does not seem nice. Yet, it was the truth. Paul told the brethren at the churches of Galatia that he was simply telling them the truth, he then asked if he had become their enemy simply for telling them the truth (Galatians 4:16). Some brethren and some non-Christians need to consider why they may be offended by truth. The truth will set one free (John 8:32). Do those offended not want to be free?

    Christ did not hold back when it came to rebuking. (Matthew 23:8-30) “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.”

    Now, there are those speakers that try and “settle scores” from the pulpit. This is not the time, nor the place. We are told to simply preach the word (II Timothy 4:2). Those that use the pulpit to throw fits are using the pulpit wrongly. Yet, there are those that take a sermon filled with book, chapter, and verse and are offended by it. If you are offended by a sermon full of truth, it is the word burning, maybe you ought to recognize it as a burning and pricking in your heart going on and do that which is right! Be just like those on the day of Pentecost: (Acts 2:37;41) “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”- B.A.Y.

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