As I share these teachings on the apostles’ doctrine, I remember some 45 years ago when I received the seeds of this knowledge from my mentor. I thank God for him, for the patience he had with me as I exited for good the old life and entered the new life in Christ. I had help; I needed help. I was blessed to not be separated by hundreds and thousands of miles, desperately reaching out through a virtual reality atmosphere for the truth. We were family; we lived in our own community; we worked together every day for years and worked out our problems as a family. It was in this environment that I first learned of the apostles’ doctrine. My teacher with great joy and clarity taught us that and much more [When he passed away I published an elegy that you can read here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/i-will-remember-him-that-way-elegy-for-my-mentor/ ].
After decades of study, which is the watering of those seeds that the Spirit planted by His teacher, I now share that harvest. The harvest of seeds is seeds. I now sow the seed. Never forget: “The parable is this; the seed is the word of God.”
We saw last time that doctrines are teachings. And the doctrine that the apostles had was Christ’s very doctrine. Some people have a big problem with the word “doctrine.” I have heard it said by preachers, “We don’t want doctrine; we just want Jesus.” That is so ignorant, in the pure sense of the word, because the word says, “Whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God” (II John 9). We are to not only know what His doctrine is, but we are also to abide in it. “Abide” in the Greek here means “to stay in, to continue in, to remain in.” We are to stay in these teachings. That’s heavy, yet it shows just how important Christ’s teachings are. And the comforting thing is that His apostles have the same doctrine. And the apostles’ doctrine is the very bedrock foundation of God’s house for the latter days.
It is interesting that God uses many different metaphors and similes taken from the everyday life of a farmer, a peasant, a gardener, or a builder. He likens His word to a seed that is sown, which is spoken into the ground or into a person’s ear. And for some, it will take root in their hearts as we see in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. And then He likens His word unto water, living waters delivered by His Spirit. Once a person has tasted the living waters–who has really taken a nice, huge gulp–nothing else on this planet will quench the thirst for the truth. Things of the earth, the material things that appease on a natural level will never suffice a human called by His Maker, for they are created to be the glory of God—a spiritual being.
But when the apostles’ doctrine is taught, many turn away. When repentance from sin is taught, then many begin to walk away. It is a tough one, especially if they believe that they are already in His good graces. And yet, “Repent” was the very first word that our Savior said to every one he met. He said over and over again, “Repent, for the…” For the what? For the “kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is so near that its very King was standing in their midst, and He knew that repentance from sin was their ticket into His kingdom. For no cheats, liars, thieves, and adulterers will reside in His kingdom. Repentance takes care of that. Which is to say, the cross experience takes care of that (more on that later).
Christ’s doctrine solidly in our hearts is the foundation. Only those who are solid and grounded and do not waver when the test comes—these are the ones who will go on to perfection, which is full spiritual maturity. This is when Christ is fully formed in us. These teachings are to be a part of us, yet we will have to leave them eventually in order to go on unto perfection (Heb. 5: 12-14). After a foundation is completed, a builder has to put up the walls, rafters, and roof, and finish the job. He can’t keep monkeying around with the foundation; he will never complete the vision of the architect; he will never finish.
The First Principles
The apostles’ doctrine is the “first principles of the oracles of God.” These teachings are only the first teachings that the elect must have in their heart. They are the milk of the word and not the meat. Though they seem at first glance to be advanced, they really are elementary principles. It is like when we took pre-algebra in grade school, how we thought it was so hard, while it was only just a preliminary to the mathematical pain that would be coming in the next few years.
These teachings are for little children, even “babes in Christ,” who are mostly alive to see what they can receive from their new spiritual Father. But our destiny is not to be little children of God. No. For we have this hope that God will be reproduced within us. And this “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast and which enters into that within the veil” (Heb. 6: 18-20). Our Savior Yahshua (Jesus) has already entered into this 100 fold growth as our high priest to guide us on in.
Inside the Veil
“Entering into that within the veil” means going into the 100 fold growth, which is us fully matured spiritually with the Spirit of God manifested in us. It helps our growth to get a glimpse of just what is behind the veil. For the tabernacle in the wilderness, whose construction blueprint was given to Moses by God, serves as types and shadows of the spiritual house of God, “whose house are we.” The apostle escorts us on into these higher realms in Hebrews 6 and 7. Yet he encourages us to leave those very first principles in order to fulfill our calling as a “royal priesthood” (I Pet. 2: 9). We see our calling is to follow in Christ’s footsteps in being that kingly priest, “called after the order of Melchisedec.”
We do not enter this rarified atmosphere of knowledge without great humility, the kind shown in our service to our King Yahshua. He ever lives now to intercede for us when we come to Him with our petitions on this “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” As our High Priest, we thank Christ for obtaining for us a better covenant that has purged our “conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9: 9-14). No more recriminations, nor guilt, nor shame. No more guilty consciences, for He has wiped the slate clean. This is the fruit of the very first apostles’ doctrine—repentance from sin.
There is much to see inside the tabernacle, which is “the example and shadow of heavenly things.” The old covenant of the blood of animals only purified the “patterns of things in the heavens…but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Heb. 9: 23). What is a better sacrifice than the blood of animals? The blood of the Lamb of God “that takes away the sins of the world.” So Christ’s blood cleanses whom? Human beings, who are the “heavenly things themselves.”
We are heavenly things, brethren. With Christ’s Spirit now within us, we are heavenly beings, not carnal and of the earth. We are spiritual beings now. And we need to walk in this truth. For this truth is an example of what we will get into after the apostles’ doctrine is solid in our hearts. This is where the Spirit wants to take us. The question is this: Can we dispel our doubts long enough to hear His voice. Can we humble our human minds long enough to receive from a teacher, who really is the Spirit of Truth in a human body. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, He will teach us all things. He does not just mystically float around willy-nilly seeking whom He may inspire. He resides in His teachers, apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors.
Inside the Veil
“Let us go on to perfection” [spiritual maturity]. Let us go on to where Christ wants us—inside the veil, sitting with Him. Wait a minute—get this—sitting down with Him on His throne!
This is His vision, which will attack our meager belief system until we fully believe this: “All things are possible to him that believes.” Belief, which is faith, is the second of the apostles’ doctrine. Kenneth Wayne Hancock