Teachers of God will expound His way, while false prophets and false teachers lie to the flock of God. The true teachers are gifts to mankind from God (Ephesians 4: 11). They are precious and very few in number. If we seek, we will find one, and we will hold them dear.
But how can we tell the true from the false? The true teachers will have a grasp of the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). They will know how to explain in detail how one repents, how faith works in us receiving a new heart. In short, they will have true knowledge of the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).
Yet they will also know that one must leave those first principles in order to “go on unto perfection.” The Spirit that is within them will “lead us into all truth.” They will know that it is Christ in them who actually is the real Teacher.
Many in “church circles” talk about wanting the same life as the early church in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. They see the miracles and wonders performed and long for that same divine power to hold sway on the earth today. They want, however, to circumvent the procedure used in those enlightened days right after Christ’s resurrection. They want to accept Christ, be baptized, and then they want to set the world on fire with God’s power.
Before the miracles come from God, pre-requisites must be done. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43). Here you see the progression of things: the doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, prayers, fear of God, and then came the wonders and signs.
“We Don’t Want Doctrine–Just Jesus”
It was the apostles’ doctrine that the early converts stayed in. They did those teachings. For “doctrine” is translated from the Greek word didaskalia, which means “teaching; that which is taught.” Beware of those who will say, “We don’t want doctrine, we just want Jesus!” If they could only realize that the Savior Himself was referred to as a “Didaskalos,” meaning “Teacher, Master.” The same root word! People who say, “We don’t want doctrine” are really saying they do not want the real Christ and what He taught.
The true teachers of God will teach true repentance from sin in one’s life and how faith works to give us a new heart and new spirit that pleases God in not sinning against Him. And this is just the first principles “of the doctrine of Christ” (Hebrews 6: 1-2).
This is not a new thing that I write about. Read it for yourself in Martin Luther’s writings*; in the sermons of John Wesley ( http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/040.htm ), founder of the Methodist Church; from Andrew Murray, 19th Century Scottish Missionary and author ( http://www.victoryoversin.com/murray/like/lc24.htm ); or in my books (http://www.yahwehisthesavior.com/sonsintro.htm ).
So, turn away from anyone who doesn’t teach the apostles’ doctrine, that says that you cannot be a righteous son or daughter of God. Don’t believe them. They will try to drag you down into the same spiritual slop that they are stuck in. Find yourself a true teacher and study out the apostles’ doctrine, for those are the teachings of Christ. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
* “Sermon on Three-fold Righteousness” at http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/3formsrt.html