“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
The Spirit spoke expressly, and friends we are in those ‘latter times’. It is amazing when we look at history with the guiding of the Holy Ghost, we can see just how it came to pass. Men’s consciences have been seared with hot irons and the persecution of the martyrs of old and the abuse of the professing church are contributing factors of this searing. When the ones presenting themselves as the church are persecuting believers it breeds confusion. At the same time if we are students of Scripture we should not be surprised, it seems God uses this confusion to prove our faith.
 I Ti. 4:1
“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
Jesus told us it would be this way and all His apostles have affirmed it. Still, many are taken in by religious acts, feigned piety, pomp and circumstance. All of these are like the leaven of the Pharisees of old to be avoided. Jesus warned His disciples to beware and the warning stands even more so today. The true body of Christ may be small, in comparison to its imitators, but it is mighty. It is not in the wind, not in the shaking of the earth, not in the fire, but in the still small voice.
The Catholic/Protestant religious systems have killed so many while claiming the name of Jesus that there has become an almost inherent shame when dealing with matters of religious doctrine. After centuries of ‘holy’ wars people distance themselves from ‘religion’. They seek instead to be non-judgmental speaking of a relationship with God. Yet, how do you have any good relationship with Jesus and know nothing of Him?
 Mt. 16:6; Mk. 8:12; Lk.12:1  I Ki. 19:11-12
This important definition was copied from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary—Doctrine, noun [Latin, to teach.]
Doctrine matters, otherwise, we have no basis to truly know God. God never changes, so our experience with God cannot contradict His holy Word. Men, on the other hand, change with the wind. If our experience with God is governed only by our feelings, intellect or instinct for survival, then we will serve a god of our own imaginations. Every man is right in his own eyes, but God ponders the hearts of men. Satan is seeking worship for himself; he loves to try to sift the Saints as wheat. We must let the trials prove our converted hearts, persecution purifies our walk with Christ, it strengthens and clarifies the borders of the kingdom of God in opposition to the kingdom of mere men.
It has been said, if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. This is being proven before our very eyes in this wicked perverse generation. Most of the professing church says we cannot judge, therefore allowing all manner of evil to thrive. The church described in the Martyr’s Mirror stood for something. It is amazing to read that Thessalonica, the church that Paul praised for its faith in action, turning from their idols unto the true and living God remained unchanged by Roman or Greek influence up until the sixteenth century. Timothy was told to ‘refuse profane and old wives’ tales’, this message must have carried to the believers of this city. They understood their doctrine and refused to be swayed by the philosophy of men and the changing of times and seasons. They, instead, looked to matters of godliness and holiness; a simplicity, taking of God at His Word.
 Pr. 21:2  Lk. 22:31  I Th. 1:9
 Martyrs Mirror, Severe Persecution in The East, About A. D. 718 (p.228-229), Summary of Baptism in the Sixteenth Century (p. 364)
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”-II Ti. 4:16
The word doctrine is used 12 times within the 4 Gospels and 4 times in the book of Acts. Paul referred to doctrine 23 times in his letters and the Apostle John warned us not to say godspeed to those who “abideth not the doctrine of Christ”. What is the doctrine of Christ?
 II Jn. 1:9-10
“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Many scholars make this answer much more complicated than it need be, as it is written, God uses foolish things to confound the wise. It is a simple matter of taking Jesus words to heart. In modern teaching it is often said of the sermon on the mount (for example) that Jesus was showing us we could not keep the law as we cannot keep covetousness, lust murder and adultery from our heart. Is this true? Does not the same Scripture tell us to renew our mind? Did not God promise us a new heart as a part of the new covenant? Are we not warned to guard our heart with due diligence?
If a person studies the Bible accepting the idea that there may be contradictions, then that person will find no end of contradiction. It is for this reason it seems foolish to those who are perishing. The obvious problem with this is that the doctrine of Christ reflects the Heavenly Father: there is no contradiction in Him, no shadow of turning. If there is no contradiction in Him, then there is no contradiction in His Word, it is plain and simple.
The Greeks of the day were used to overlooking contradictions. A brief study of the Greek pantheon makes this clear. The gods were said to do vulgar, profane things, even ungodly things. The wives’ tales were simply stories used to teach children moral lessons and continuity of theme or reality were not necessarily important. The idea being taught was the focus, not reality. The Bible, on the other hand, proclaims its own truth repetitively, the exact phrase “thus saith the Lord” shows up 413 times in the King James Bible. The consistent teaching of Greek mythology is a sort of helpless fate, whereas the Bible gives us choices and places the responsibility for the choices we make, rightfully, upon us. It is for this reason doctrine is so important: We will stand and give an account for every idle word on judgment day! Are we really prepared for that day, when we are waffling under pressure on what we believe here on earth? What will happen then if we don’t take God’s Word seriously?
The Martyrs died for the details. They could have said, “well it is not that serious, I suppose we can just agree to disagree,” but they didn’t. They were killed for their opposition of infant baptism, which denies the rationality of our faith, implying that people baptized before they can even remember it will somehow be saved by the baptism. Jesus told Peter the church was built on a conscious confession, of course the Catholics use this verse to claim the church was built on him. By the eighth century the catechisms were full of superstition, many of which, were in direct conflict with the Word of God itself. The Bible believing Saints of that time were careful to stand against this demonic doctrine.
They used letters sent strategically, laced with the Word of God and fervent prayer. We will look at one Saint who wrote a whole book, only to have it burned by order of the pope. They used every form of persuasion they could conceive of, but they never returned evil for evil. The constant in all these testimonies are lives devoted to godliness. This speaks volumes above any wisdom or innovation we could develop. It is a theme repeated in the Martyr’s Mirror and it should be our desire as well, the persecuted Saints put on the spiritual armor and battled to their last breath. If we can truly get hold of the Gospel message we will do likewise, we are not fighting for victory, we are fighting to declare victory! We proclaim the good news: Jesus died on the cross that men could live free from the bondage of sin and the weight of shame.
Walkabout Jesus! Hallelujah!!!
 I Co. 1:27 Mt. 16:18 Ep. 6:10-18
I am only a brother...
Can I tell you about my elder brother Jesus?