I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
- Revelation 1:11
The Apostle John’s Book of Revelation was a large letter comprising of things which John “…hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” (Rev 1:19) that was shared around the seven churches of Asia.
As we know, each of those seven churches received an individual letter contained within the Book. Five of those seven letters were of spiritual condemnation, with only two, Philadelphia and Smyrna, receiving a satisfactory pass.
The church at large is preparing to be the bride of Christ. This mystery is written of in the book of Ephesians 5:25-32. The part I want to discuss is about wives submitting themselves unto their husbands, as the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the Church.
Christ is the head of the church, which means the church receives the instruction from Christ, and not the other way around.
The reason we have thistles, thorns and hard labour these days is that Adam hearkened unto his wife and followed her into her deception. (Genesis 3:17-19)
Considering it was Eve who was deceived in receiving instruction from the beguiling serpent, so the church can be deceived if they choose to receive instruction from that same beguiling serpent today.
As a church, we are married to Christ and consequently meant to follow Him. However, in these latter days scripture says some will be seduced to follow other spirits, all of which originate from that same beguiling serpent.
1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit (Holy Spirit) speaketh expressly, that in these latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
The word ‘expressly’ means it is written, not implied. It is documented, so there can be no misunderstanding or arguments about the topic. It will happen.
We might be apt to think that a departing only occurs in these latter times; however, five of the seven Revelatory churches departed to varying degrees.
In this departing, the church that departs doesn’t only depart from sound doctrine, but from the marriage to Christ. No longer satisfied with obedience, it invents and merges other doctrine with the Word of God. 2 Timothy 4:3, states, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
In departing from the marriage, they become spiritual divorcees — divorced from Christ. Formerly receiving doctrine from their spiritual husband, they now seek other sources. Make no mistake, wherever the truth is preached, there will be, running beside it, unsound doctrine — a doctrine of devils.
Teachers of these deceptive doctrines can always be found peddling their wares near to those preaching the truth. Acts 8:18-19, “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost."
The five almost-divorced churches in Revelation received a final letter from their husband, Christ, to clean up their lives and return as a wife in love with the life He has provided. Nothing less would do.
Likewise, if we are on the pathway to unsound doctrine, the Lord will be telling us to return to the simple and plain life of the Strait Gate and the narrow way; sufficiently strait and narrow to allow righteousness and holiness, but not the unholy desires and riches of this world.
Many marriages can suffer from disillusion, with the partners thinking there is something better out there. For the believer, looking for unsound doctrine will only satisfy the natural person within us, as the spiritual person will remain starved and stunted, and eventually die, and we will find ourselves at a different destination to the one we originally held dear.
2 Timothy 4:3 uses the term, endure, "For the time will come when they will not ENDURE sound doctrine;..." To those who depart, sound doctrine is like a boring marriage that they have to endure. However, if we are truly in love with our partner, Christ, the enduring refers to the training and disciplines of the Way of Holiness to which we are all called. It is far from boring, and the closer we get to it the more we fall in love with it, and the further we get from the desire for doctrines which may cause our divorce.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you what you have written on those who depart from sound doctrine. Please help me to stay within the bounds of your word and not depart from it. Please give me strength in times of weakness and wisdom to see incoming deceit.