Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 15, 1966
NUMBER 19, PAGE 8b-9a

The Great Controversy

Edd Holt

"The Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." (Hos. 4:1, 2.)

The Doctrine Of Christ Vs. The Doctrines Of Men

God and Christ are one in doctrine they are united. What belongs to Christ belongs to God. He said to His Father, "All mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. The gospel of Christ is the gospel of God. The kingdom of heaven is "the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Eph. 5:5). The church is the kingdom. The church of Christ (Matt. 16:18) is "the church of God" (Acts 20:28). "The churches (Congregations) of Christ" (Rom. 16:16) are "the churches of God" (1 Con 11:16). The doctrine of Christ is the doctrine of God. (Jno. 7:16). So, there is but one doctrine with them. One never reads of the "doctrines" of Christ nor of sound "doctrines" in the New Testament. But one can read of the "doctrines" of men and of "doctrines of devils". There is a plurality of them, and of their increase there seems to be no end.

The doctrine of Christ is the teaching of Christ. We do not talk of the "teachings" of Christ, according to the pattern of sound speech. The doctrine of Christ is the truth. We do not read of the "truths" of Christ. The truth is one. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His word is His doctrine and His doctrine is the truth. His word is "the faith" and "there is one". (Eph. 4:5). We do not read in the New Testament of "the faiths".

"THE DOCTRINE" vs. DOCTRINES. Christ is against the doctrines of men. The doctrines of men are the doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1,2). They are opposed to Christ. (Rom. 16:17,18). He is opposed to them. The doctrines of men are counterfeit. They are made to resemble the doctrine of Christ, in part, that they may deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom. 16: 17,18).

"The Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land" (Hos. 4:2), because they teach and follow for doctrines the commandments of men.

TAKE HEED WHAT AND HOW YOU HEAR. Just as long as you look to "the ministers" and not to the word of Christ you will be deceived. "The devil transforms himself into an angel of light" and millions of people worship him. His ministers transform themselves as ministers of righteousness. (2 Cor.11:14, 15). False prophets come to you in sheep's clothing. Paul said, "The Spirit speaketh expressly that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies." (1 Tim. 4:1,2). You may be deceived by men. Yet you need not be. Paul wrote that we might learn not to think of men above that which is written. (1 Cor. 4:6). Do not believe in men -- believe in Christ (1 Cor. 2: 5). Believe His word -- the New Testament. The word is not deceptive. It does not lie. There is no hypocrisy about it. It does not want your money. The word of Christ is fair. It invites your study and investigation. It is our lie detector. By it we are to try the spirits. With it we are to pull the sheep's clothing from the false prophets. It is the "biology of plants" by which we are to know the plants which our heavenly Father hath not planted. When Jesus said, "This people honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me..., in vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of man, " the Pharisees were offended. (They could not endure sound doctrine either). But instead of Jesus apologizing to them He made it worse for them, Still talking about the doctrines of men, He said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up'.' (Matt.15:13). His enemies could spit in His face or slap His cheek and He would not retaliate, but when they gainsaid the doctrine of God they were in for a battle -- the great controversy was on. He was our example. We should be like Him.

KEEP READING THE NEW TESTAMENT. "Search the scriptures daily" to see if the things you hear are so. Read for yourself. Look it up. Put the microscope of truth -- the New Testament -- on what you hear. Put others to the same test that I am asking you to put to what we say here. And when they tell you not to read, just keep reading. When they say that you can't understand, do not get mad, just keep reading, when they say, "Let me read it for you", just keep reading the New Testament. No need to argue whether he is good or bad; read the word of Christ. You want to be right, do you not? The New Testament is right. If someone hands you a Manual, or a Discipline, or a Catechism, or a Confession of Faith, in a nice way, say, "I do not want that, I'm reading the New Testament." We must hear Christ, (Matt.17:5). We want the doctrine of Christ. We must be taught right or we will never be able to go right.

A WAR IS ON between Christ and the devil. Christ is not tricky nor subtle, but the devil is. Christ will not bribe you but the devil will -- and does. Christ will not tempt you but the devil does. Christ does not appeal to your lusts but the devildom Christ does not say "do this or that because it sounds good to your ears, or looks good, or feels good." But the devil wants you to follow "the lusts of the flesh; the lusts of the eye and the pride of life." The war is on. We must beware of Satan's propaganda. We must be vigilant -- on the lookout for "spies" of the devil.

NOT THEY BUT THE. The doctrine of Christ is His treasure. It once was in the inspired preacher but is now in the inspired book -- the New Testament. As long as the doctrine of Christ depended upon the preacher as an "earthen vessel" God inspired the preacher. Now that the doctrine has been revealed it is written in the New Testament. (Eph.3:1-4). It is complete -- perfect.

Christ died that His doctrine might be yours. You have a right to it. If you accept the doctrines of men you make void the word of Christ. Your worship is vain and you will be lost forever. It does not make any difference how old the doctrines of men may be, if they are not in the New Testament (rightly divided -- 2 Tim. 2:15) they are not the doctrine of Christ. If older than the New Testament they are too old. If newer than the New Testament they are too new. If more than the New Testament -- to much. If less than the New Testament -- too little. If they are the same as the New Testament they are not "they" but "the" doctrine of Christ.

THE "GATES" OF HELL cannot prevail against the doctrine of Christ. What assurance! What encouragement! The New Testament is right. If a thousand doctrines point at me, as if the doctrine of Christ, I am not discouraged. With my New Testament I can pull away the veil and see them as so many "fiery darts" of Satan which would destroy my soul. I turn away from them and cling to my Lord's Testament. If Satan muddies the water to make it look deep and frighten me, Christ will, with His word, make it clear. If the winds of doctrines ship up a storm, the word of Christ whispers, "Peace, be still." Though the plants of Satan are to be "rooted up", the word of God abides forever. Before Jesus died and went into the Hadean world, He said, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18). The "gates of Hades" could not prevail against the building of the church of Christ, and the "gates" of Hell (Eph. 4:14) shall not prevail against the doctrine of Christ. It shall live and abide forever.

Jesus said, "Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house on the rock." The words of Christ are the doctrine of Christ. He that hears the doctrine of Christ and does it is the man who builds his house on the rock. If we continue in that doctrine we shall abide in Christ. If we go beyond it we have neither God nor Christ (2 John 9). To teach or follow for doctrines the commandments of men is to build on the sand and brings upon one the anathemas of heaven,

-Montgomery, Alabama