The Doctrine of Christ

This Short Study will look at the principles (basic teachings) of the Doctrine of Christ, and how these principles still relate to us today. 

By Pastor G. E. Newmyer

Doctrine and Theology

The word Doctrine means Teaching, or "what one teaches." The word Theology is a compound word taken from the Greek language, with the Greek word "Theo" meaning God, and "Logy" meaning Study.

Thus Theology is our continual and expanding Study of God; however, since study is continual it means studies are yet in the developing stage....but not Doctrinal in structure. Our developing studies of God are not our Doctrine, yet they are building from the Doctrine of Christ.

Mature Studies...and the full corn in the ear

Mature studies are firm, although one may add to them, they are nonetheless basically sound within the Doctrinal structure, and they become doctrinal studies to assist others in their studies.

Theology is like the growing seed, while "a premise" is yet a seed; when it’s still a thought, then comes the root, then the sprout, then the blade, then the full ear, finally the full corn in the ear.

If we have a sound study discipline, we can discern between a study in its building stage, and one which is tested and ready to be taught. Paul said he would not have a Novice to teach, the word Novice in the Greek means a Sprout. A Sprout is based on the seed, it has a root, but it is not a blade; therefore, it has yet to conquer the pride issue. Theology is somewhat like a seed to the Novice, as the Novice sees the anointing work, they tend to think it’s based on them. Either their studies, discipleship, or something involving them alone, thus they become prey for the devil. A Novice often teaches an undeveloped thought, leaving far too many gaps for the study to be considered a sound teaching. The gaps are left open to private conclusions, or simply too vague to be applicable. Paul’s warning about the Novice teacher, isn’t so much toward those being taught, but the Novice. A prime example is Peter, we’re not picking on Peter, but it’s obvious his adventures before Pentecost are given to us as lessons. Peter heard from the Father, but at the time he had no idea it was the Father. It took Jesus to tell him, “blessed are you Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood has not given this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”. Until Jesus told Peter it was revelation, Peter had no idea. A few verses later Jesus tells of events yet to come, but Peter wants God to change the events, he is rebuked by Jesus. Instead of hearing “blessed are you”, Peter hears, “Get you behind Me, Satan”. Peter simply couldn’t tell the source of his information, like a Novice he felt, “if it sounds good, it must be God”. Peter had some information, but he didn’t have it all, nor did he understand the source of information.

The Bible is the rule book, but we can find more than one doctrine in the Bible. There was the doctrine of Moses, the doctrine of Balaam, and the Doctrine of Christ. One could mix elements of the Doctrine of Christ with the Doctrine of Moses, then end teaching by the Doctrine of Balaam. When the Novice thinks its by their might, ability or wisdom, they will be filled with pride as they begin to assume they are the special of the special, the “only prophet”, the “only apostle”, or the “apostle over a state, country, or nation”. A novice teaching takes on a heresy of its own, it builds itself from a thought to a doctrine without ample Scriptural evidence.

What was a tradition to the last generation becomes a doctrine in the next, thus we find doctrines of men with no firm, solid, plain Bible verse to support them. There are many, we can think of some, usually it’s “oh the doctrine those people hold, I know exactly what you mean”, but we need to examine our own “doctrine” to determine if we’ve picked up some strange fire along the way. If we have a solid foundation, we then build on the foundation indicating we can be somewhat confident no teaching will be taught before its time. Yet, it still takes a constant checking to one written element we have, The Doctrine Of Christ. We have to examine what we’re doing to what Jesus taught and did, if Jesus didn’t teach it, or do it, why are we? If we are binding what Jesus loosed, what does it make us? If we are loosing, what Jesus bound, what does it make us? Studies and precepts must pass the test of sound study discipline, as sound study discipline must be formed around the Doctrine of Christ. So, don’t you think it would be nice to know about the Doctrine? Yes, how do we think the doctrines of men get a foothold? Failure to know the Doctrine of Christ? Someone uses a phrase not Bible based, it sounds right, smells right, it’s even wise, but it’s not secure in the Bible. It became a tradition of men, then traveled unchallenged until it’s accepted as doctrine. Even worse, traditions of men made into doctrines always take away from a Commandment: very dangerous indeed.

We must study and examine the Doctrine of Christ, yet the meaning of the title Christ varies depending on whether we’re talking about Jesus the Christ, or the Body of Christ which Jesus gave us when He said, “this is My Body”; however, Jesus gave us the Bread and the Cup, two items, not one. The Bread is the Body, the Cup held the Blood of Jesus, then He said the Blood is the New Testament. The Body of Christ was being established before the Cross as the Rock, but the Church didn’t come into existence until the Day of Pentecost some fifty days after the Cross. This is explained in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked His disciples “But Whom say you that I am?” (Matt 16:15). Of course we know Peter answered, then found his knowledge came from the Father, it didn’t come from the studies of man, nor from the intellect of man, nor from the Jewish teachings (Matt 16:17). Jesus then said to Peter, “upon this Rock” showing a present tense condition, but He also said, “I will build My Church” showing a future tense action. He didn’t say, “upon the Rock, I have built My Church”, nor did He say, “This Rock is the Church”, nor did He say, “Upon this Rock, I am building My Church”, nor did He say, “Thou Peter are the Rock upon which I will build My Church”. The division was clear, Peter is a piece of the Rock, the Rock itself is Christ, made up from many Rocks. Paul called the Rock Christ, referring to it as the Body of Christ. The timing was the same for the Gift of the Spirit, the Spirit was given after Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection.

In Matthew Jesus called Peter, “Simon Barjona ( meaning, Simon Son Of Jona)”, which is strange since it was the earthly name Peter carried before he meant Jesus. The revelation said, “Jesus son of God”, Jesus said, “Simon son of Jona”, for good reason. This same name was used in the last Chapter of John, only there it was after Peter had denied the Lord, a time when Peter felt he was no longer among the apostles. This division separates the Rock from the Church, it also shows no one person is the Rock, nor is one person the Church, thus Jesus will build the Church from the Rock. This is important since the Doctrine of Christ is directed to those who are of the Rock, as members of the Body, regardless if they are spiritual or not, carnal or spiritual, new born babes, just had the seed planted, or able to consume strong meat. The “rudiments” or “principalities” of the Doctrine of Christ become stable pillars in our walk, they keep us firm in the calling of our profession. 

Jesus then told Peter, “upon this Rock I will build My Church”. Since Jesus just called Peter “Simon” we have a clue to what this Rock is. If Jesus would have said “Blessed are you Peter, for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee” the entire concept of Following Jesus would have been out the window. Now wait, didn’t Jesus say in the next verse, “thou are Peter?” (Matt 16:18). Yes, it’s the clue and division we need to keep us from entering another system where we end putting a man between us and God. It would be so easy to twist these verses to form another “head” of the Body, by placing a man between us and God. The Law of Moses was based on that very premise, no one under the Law of Moses is a “son of God”, they end being a “son of Moses”.

Who was Peter before Jesus touched him? Simon, it was Jesus who said, “you are Peter”. Peter never made Jesus the Christ, in fact as Simon he wasn’t able to be Peter, it took Jesus. Jesus called Simon to the Rock, then discipled him as a piece of the Rock. It’s clear, Peter didn’t change his name from Simon to Peter, Jesus did, yet Jesus just referred to him as both Simon and Peter. Neither did Peter call himself into the ministry, Jesus did. Peter never developed the revelation of Jesus being the Christ, he was given the knowledge by the Father. Peter would never be able to build the Church, yet he was nonetheless a part of the Rock. Or was he the Rock itself? The name Peter doesn’t mean “the rock”, it means “a little rock”, or a “piece of the rock”, some would translate the name Peter as “Rocky”. There were other disciples there as well, recalling how they had a fit when James and John wanted to be on the left and right of Jesus, imagine what they would have done if they thought Jesus was saying He was going to build the Church from Peter? No, Jesus wasn’t referring to Peter as the entire Rock, only a piece of it. It becomes part of the Doctrine of Christ, the Rock is the Body, from the Body Jesus will build His Church.

Jesus isn’t going to give a seat to Peter, or the position of being the Rock, simply Jesus took Simon Barjona, and would disciple him as Peter a piece of the Rock, then when the Spirit was given the same Peter would be able to submit and allow Jesus to build him into the Church. For some reason we use the term Church as some generic term including both the Rock and Church, but Jesus separated them for a purpose. By the way this does connect to the Doctrine of Christ, since this is some of the teaching Jesus gave us.

The Church at the time was still future tense, showing none of these disciples were “Born Again”, none of them had “the Spirit”, none of them were “spiritual” in nature, yet they preached, cast out devils, baptized others in water, and healed the sick. What Authority did they have? Jesus sent them based on Mercy, their sins were forgiven “on earth”, they had authority on earth to deal with the things related to earth. The time to “expand” into Greater Works would not come until Pentecost, when the Power from on high joined the declared Authority Jesus gave His Body.

This same Peter who had the revelation of Jesus being the Christ, will be the same one in a few verses to hear Jesus say to him, “Get thee behind Me Satan, you are an offense to Me”. From “blessed are you Simon Barjona”, to “You are Satan”. Wow, what happened? Peter, like the other disciples was natural, unable to discern the source of their information. If Jesus had not told Peter the revelation came from the Father, Peter would not have known. To Peter it was information, nothing more, nothing less, thus he didn’t know if the source of this information was from God, or himself. His used his natural reasoning, if it sounded okay to him, why not go ahead and say it. However, we also can see it got him into trouble. We know if the source is God, we’re blessed, so what would we be if the source was Satan? Cursed? Yes, Peter went from Blessed to Cursed in a heartbeat, all because he had no idea of the source of his information. The Father identified the Christ, Satan wanted to control Christ. Both recognized Jesus as the Christ, but both had very different intents for doing so. 

Since Peter was the name Jesus gave him, we also see how Jesus called Peter to be a part of the Rock, but the context shows Jesus will build His Church on the Rock, the Rock is not the Church, the Church is not the Rock, rather one is built on the other. These Jewish disciples knew Jerusalem of the earth was built by men on the Rock known as Zion,  of course the Rock was a creation of God (being earth). Here Jesus reversed the order, the Rock is still a type of Zion, the Church is New Jerusalem, but rather than man building New Jerusalem (Church), Jesus will, rather than God creating the Rock, the Body is given the task of building the Rock, which Rock is Christ the Body (I Cor 10:17 & 10:4). Jude confirms this by saying, “on some have compassion, making a difference, and others Save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 22-23). The word “save” is the Greek Sozo, not the Greek Soteria, thus this is not Salvation, but nonetheless it is a saving from the world into the Rock. Jude doesn’t limit the fish either, good or bad, we pull them in. Once someone enters, or becomes a piece of the Rock, then Jesus will build them into the Church, or not.

What was the doctrine of Moses? The Law of Moses, yet Joshua was the minister to Moses, and God told Joshua to mediate on the Law, we’re told to walk in the Spirit. Not to say we’re not suppose to mediate, but we can mediate all day long, and never walk in the Spirit. The New is better than the Old, far better, since it’s New it means it was never before. It’s not an extension of the Old, rather it’s New. How about the term “shadow”? A shadow is not the item itself, rather it’s the result of the Light behind the subject, thus the Shadow is not the Light, or the Image, but something showing there is a Light on the other side of the Image. Within the Shadow was the Law of Moses, yet the purpose of all things is Jesus (the Image and Light), not the Law of Moses. Sometimes we tend to get it confused, as we run off with the wrong doctrines. We have said all this to show there are some things found in the Old Testament that are similar, and some that are opposites between the Old and New. The Old has a circumcision, so does the New, but they are different by type and definition.

The Book of Hebrews was not written to the Hebrews, it was written about them. Why not call it the “Book of the Jews”? Or the “Book of Israel”? A Jew is one who has a standing to enter some covenant with God, Israel is a nation, or land, they are different. No where do we find the term, “true Israel”, but we do find the term “true Jew”. A Jew is a male who holds the token for the Abrahamic Covenant, which is circumcision of the flesh, or in the case of a female, whose father held the token for the Abrahamic Covenant.  A Hebrew is different, a Hebrew is a sojourner, someone who is between lands, yet has the Promise of a land. Israel is the nation to whom the land belongs, thus we are Christian, a people to whom the Kingdom of God belongs. The nation Israel is made up from tribes, it’s not one person, the Rock is made up from people who form bodies we call churches. These churches are in the Rock, but it doesn’t mean they are The Church. Therefore, there is only One Church on the Rock, but there are many churches in the Rock. This explains why Jesus said the gates of hell will not prevail against “it” (the Church), but in the Book of Revelation we find the Balaams and Jezebels have taken residence in some churches, others were holding the “doctrine of the Nicolatanes”, or the “doctrine of Balaam” (Rev 2:15), another church thought it was rich and in need of nothing, but really it was wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, thus it was deceived in following false doctrine. We also there are the doctrines of men, and there are the doctrines of devils. The doctrines of devils are not teaching about devils, it’s what devils teach; which is unbelief, thus anyone who teaches us unbelief, is a devil. The doctrines of men are presumptuous concepts without merit, or solid Bible evidence.

Jesus said the gates of hell shall not prevail against “it”, yet He mentioned two elements (Rock and Church). Gates in any sense are not offensive, they are defensive, they are formed to keep things out, or keep things in, or form a hindrance. When a person is walking along a path and they run into a gate, it causes them to take another direction. The gates of hell cause us to take another direction than the one we should be taking.

Jesus never promised us the gates would not invade the Rock, but invasion and prevailing are different. The Rock is like unto the kingdom of heaven, it’s a place, but the Church is like the Kingdom of God, it’s a personage. The place has all sorts of people in it, it’s like the courtyard of the Tabernacle, people make entry based on the Sacrifice, not the person. The Kingdom of God is found in the Tent area, first is the holy place, the place of service, then the holy of holies, the place where we find God and His Mercy seat. We must seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, seeking the Kingdom of God by self-righteousness is using a wile of the devil in some attempt to complete a Godly act, the result is failure.

We know there is one Rock, one Church, and one Doctrine of Christ. However, we also know there are doctrines many, we just found there are at least two which invaded bodies of believers, the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. The name “Nicolaitanes” means “victory over the people”, the name “Nicodemus” means “victory for the people”. It’s fitting for Jesus to teach Nicodemus about being Born Again, yet hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. The point being we find two ungodly doctrines in “churches”, as well as the self-appointed (Jezebel), with the mistaken concept of riches as holiness.

With all these other doctrines, we can see how important it is to know the Doctrine of Christ, but what caused these other doctrines? The devil? The nature of man? The Bible shows us Balaam was a descendent of Abraham through Keturah (Gen 25:1-6 & Deut 23:4); Balaam even had the “Spirit of the Lord” descend upon him, he admitted how he could not prophesy against the people of God, because the Lord would not allow it (Numb 23:1 & 24:2). Up to the point we find Balaam fit the role of a prophet, thus the man never gave a false prophecy. We still use what he said from his office of prophet; God is not a man that He should lie; What God has blessed, no one can curse. Those are foundational to our faith, yet they were said through Balaam. Balaam could not cast a curse on the children, so he “taught” Balak how to cast a stumbling stone of idol worship before the children, thus the children cursed themselves, but he did it for one reason and one reason only, to promote himself in the eyes of Balak (Rev 2:14). Balaam’s problem, was a lust he refused to deal with, yet everyman is still lead away by his own lust. Balaam presumed having the office was the means for him to gain by, thus the source of his lust was greed, or a love for money. A love for money includes the deceitfulness of riches, or the thought of money curing our ills. A love for money holds other thoughts as well, it makes money a power, or sees money as the reason for the calling, or causing one to sell the dove, as long as the confers of the treasury are filled. We find it was Balaam’s teaching when we read how Balaam “taught” Balak how to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel (Rev 2:14). The word Taught in Revelation 2:14 is the Greek Diasko meaning Instruction, or teaching, it’s the root word for the Greek word used for Doctrine (Greek Didache). Balaam was going to find some way to get around the will of the Lord, in order to impress Balak in the process. His teaching induced Balak to send the “daughters of Moab” to the men of Israel to seduce them, then trick them into idol worship. The concept was simple, no one can curse what God has blessed, but one can trick the blessed of God to curse themselves. The result was “Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: but the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel” (Numb 25:3). Why not against Balaam? The choice to serve idols was still in the hands of the children of Israel, whether Balaam taught Balak or not. Twenty four thousand died as a result of a plague produced by the folly, showing they did curse themselves by removing themselves from the doctrine of Moses into the doctrine of Balaam (Numb 25:9). The Book of Revelation shows the church of Pergamos listened to the doctrine of Balaam, to the point of some holding it. They also had those who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing Jesus hates, so what is it? We found the name Nicolaitanes means victory over the people, thus leaders were being taught how to control the congregation, rather than edify them. Both of those doctrines were opposed to the Doctrine of Christ.

There are fundamental steps we must take before we gain the Doctrine of Christ, first we must understand although the Old Covenant came from God, it was not sent to a people who were Spirit filled. It was good for those it was sent to, but the New is better, it’s designed for those its sent to. Hebrews chapter six doesn’t give us All the Doctrine of Christ, but it does give us the principles, or foundational elements. Hebrews 6:1-2 lists six items as follows:

  1. Repentance from dead works.
  2. Of faith toward God
  3. The doctrine (sing) of baptisms (plur)
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection of the dead
  6. And of eternal judgment.

There are some things we don’t see, if being Born Again is a must, why don’t we see it? Where is the Spirit in all this? Where is Salvation? Where is Grace? Paul said we must believe in our hearts Jesus is raised from the dead, where is it? These matters are not all the Doctrine of Christ, they are the rudiments, the very basic elements every person who enters the Body should know. These six elements would stop all cult systems, they would guide us from false doctrines, they give us the basic first step of our walk on the path of Righteousness.

How about the Armor of God? Yes, it relates as well. The pieces to the Armor of God are listed in Ephesians 6:13-17 as follows:

  1. Girt about with Truth.
  2. Breastplate of righteousness.
  3. Feet shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
  4. Shield of faith.
  5. Helmet of Salvation.
  6. Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word (Rhema) of God.

There are some connections, yet a few don’t even sound like they come close. For instance there is no Judgment in the Armor, but there is in the Doctrine of Christ. Repentance is found in both, but in the Doctrine it’s repentance from dead works, in the Armor it’s the Preparation, not the repentance itself. The Armor is the New Man, we put on the New Man, we put on the Armor, yet the Armor belongs to God, it can only fit an element of God, such as the New Man. If there is eternal Judgment, there must be Eternal Salvation, there is (Heb 5:9). Therefore, the knowledge of eternal Judgment, also means we know there is eternal Salvation.

So, what are dead works? Any work based in self-righteousness is dead. The Blood of Jesus will purge us from dead works (Heb 9:14). The Law of Moses was based on self-righteousness, the Law of the Spirit on the Righteousness of God. Works of the flesh to remain in the Law really ended in the very death the people attempted to avoid, but if we labor to enter the Rest of God we know the “works” are done, it’s a matter of ceasing from our own works, and enjoying the works of Him who sent us (Heb 4:3-10). How do we enter the Rest of God? By belief, yet belief is based on knowledge.

Faith toward God is the first step to reaching the place of having faith In God. The children in the wilderness failed to mix the word heard with faith (Heb 4:2), yet we all know faith comes by hearing but the hearing by the Word (Rhema) of God. Faith coming, and faith being received, and faith being mixed with the Word are different. Hebrews 11:6 tells us it’s impossible to please God without faith. However, the first step of faith is to Believe God Is, but is what? God is love, fine, but the verse simply says God Is. If we enter the event with any other belief than God Is, we will fall from faith, before we have it. Our faith is based on the belief of God Is in the event, God Is for us. Then we can look to the hope by faith of God being a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith toward God is not easy, when the event seems upside down, we can attempt to use our measure of faith against the event, or put it in God. It’s the same faith, but when we put it in God, it’s holy, when we use it to please ourselves it becomes unholy. Faith speaks, God speaks, there are other things speaking to us as well, fear speaks, the world speaks, reasoning speaks, they all do so to get us away from faith, back into the self. One of the biggest battles any Christian faces is “being motivated by the self”; when we were in the world the self was our motivations, the flesh our means of association to the world. We entered the Kingdom, became Born Again and it all changed. The Spirit is changing, or forming our souls into a spiritual nature. The Holy Ghost teaches by comparing spiritual to spiritual; the Holy Ghost is spiritual, the New Man is spiritual, if our souls are not centered on the spiritual we will not understand the learning process. 

The Doctrine of Christ has doctrines within it, as it is with the doctrine of baptisms. The doctrine of baptisms is one doctrine with more than one baptism. “Now wait, hold it right there, no one move, the Book of Ephesians says there is only One baptism”. True, but here we find baptisms, the Book of Hebrews is just as much the Bible as Ephesians, so how do we deal with this? We can’t toss out one verse, or form a doctrine on the other. We have to know how they interrelate, then we find truth. In Ephesians we find several Greek words for the English word One, one of the Greek words means one and only one, as in One Lord, but the other means One made up from parts as in the phrase “One Body”. We know there is only One Body of Christ, so is there only one person in the Body? Some think so, but in truth we know there are many. Like a baseball, it’s one baseball, we don’t say, “hey, toss me the baseball with all it’s components”. Yet we know the baseball has a core, a wrapping around the core, two pieces put together to make the covering, thread used to put it together to make the One baseball. So it is with the phrase “One Baptism”, we can’t pick one of the baptisms, over the other, they are interrelated. Also, in the TR we find the Greek word Pas for the word One, meaning a location. Therefore, we find there is only one Body on the earth with the God granted authority to baptize people in water. The very meaning of the phrase, “In the Name of Jesus Only”, refers to the many people at the time who were still using John’s baptism, which ended when John was cast into prison. John’s baptism held the people should believe, the one we do calls for the candidate to make a confession of their belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 8:37, 18:24-28 & 19:1-6).

In Acts we find several baptisms all going on among the Gentiles. However, two we know about, the baptism we do in water as the person’s token regarding the Body, and the baptism with the Holy Ghost which is done by Jesus (Acts 10:45-48 with 11:16). Water baptism does not grant us the Spirit, rather the baptism with the Holy Ghost does.

Jesus said, “baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”. It’s only one Name, but it belongs to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God all in all. If Jesus told us, yet the “Son” is Jesus, it stands the One Name is the Authority granted to the Body of Christ.

Next is the laying on of hands, which is another vital aspect of the Doctrine of Christ. Without knowing the elements here we will not understand other aspects of the saving Grace of Christ. The laying on of hands is done in ordination, in presentation to the Lord for baptism with the Holy Ghost, as a sign of granting someone the touch of Mercy. In Mark there are signs following the believer, among them is, “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18). The wording Shall recover is the Greek word Kalos meaning Well, good, excellently, we also find the same word in Mark 7:37 where the people are talking about Jesus said, “He has done all things well, He makes both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak”. “Okay, where is shall recover there”. Ahh, it’s the point the Greek word Kalos is the phrase “things well”, in essence Jesus laid hands on the people and Jesus did good, the meaning of Kalos. The sick recovering is one thing, being obedient another, here we find if we lay hands on the sick as we present them into the Mercy of God, even with a symbol of Olive Oil to represent the sermon on the Mount of Olives, we have done well.

There are some interesting things in Mark 16:16-18, it really begins to connect to the Doctrine of Christ. If we’re to have faith toward God, yet the foundation of faith is belief, we would also presume one must believe before Jesus sends them out to preach, right? Wrong. When we look at Mark 16:16-18 we can see a strong connection to Mark 16:14. In Mark 16:14 Jesus upbraids the disciples with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they “believed not” them which had seen Him after He was risen. There were others who saw Jesus, yet reported it, but why didn’t Jesus just show Himself to the disciples first? Belief unto faith, He told them in three days He would be raised, they should have expected it. There unbelief was holding up the entire process, the Cross and Resurrection wasn’t for Jesus to make a grand show, it was for the people, the apostles were the Rock, they were trained to believe. All they had to do was wait three days, while holding to their faith, but they were moved by the things of man. They lacked a “God is” thinking, by replacing it with a type of “is” thinking, only it was “Jesus Is dead, all is lost”. They failed to see the human aspect of Jesus died on the Cross for all humans, but Jesus was not dead, He lives forever more. For us it’s an easy aspect of belief, since it’s past tense, but what about each of us being raised by the same Spirit? Where is the firm belief leading to faith? In the New Man, the very product of the Spirit, thus we must believe in our heart Jesus was raised from the dead. Not in our mind, although the thought will rest there after it comes from the heart. One can hold an intellectual view of Jesus being raised from the dead, but the proof of whether they believe in their heart is found in their responses when faced with death. These disciples felt death was death, yet they saw Jesus raise Lazarus weeks before the Cross, but it was Jesus raising another, here it was Jesus raising Himself. Who has heard of such a thing?

The context in Mark shows us the disciples had prior “information”, but their own reasoning rejected the promise of Jesus being raised unless they saw it. We jump all over Thomas for his statement, “unless I see, and touch”, but he merely voiced what they all felt. It’s evident in Mark 16:14. Jesus doesn’t tell them, “Ahh once you believed not, but now you believe, so go ye”, rather they still don’t believe, but does it stop Jesus from saying “Go ye”? No, the context isn’t the belief of those who speak, but of those who “believe” after they hear. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Rhema, indicating the ear of the person who hears is centered on the Spirit and Life. Someone can read Scripture, the Rhema will be voiced, the hearer will hear, the signs will follow those who believe.

Mark 16:14-18 gives us progression for the Believer, it’s not a discourse on baptism, rather it shows if one is baptized (identified) to the Body, their requirement is to continue to Believe. Yet if one is not in the Body (Baptized), they can believe all they want, yet the phrase “shall be saved” does not apply. If one enters the Body, yet fails to continue to believe, the phrase “shall be saved” does not apply to them. It’s the upbraiding, the disciples repented, the signs followed them. Showing belief is a decision, we are presented the evidence, we make the choice to believe or not.

In Mark 16 the word Believe is the Aroist Tense, meaning one who continues to believe, the same context found in Romans in connection with those who believe in their heart. The signs follow the ones who continue to believe, not the ones who preach, or the ones who believe until the parking lot. All the signs are actions, each has a cause and effect. The question of Authority is at issue here, not Power; it’s still “in My Name”, thus to remain in the Name of Jesus we must continue to believe. Casting out devils is something anyone in the Body can do, Spirit filled, or carnal. Of course the carnal minded will make a show out of it, but nonetheless the new convert has the authority to cast out devils.

All these matters seem to connect in one way or another, even to “the Resurrection of the dead”. We just saw how the disciples were upbraided with their unbelief, but what was the unbelief based in? Jesus preaching the Kingdom? No, Jesus being the Son of God?, No, Jesus healing the sick? No, Jesus going about doing good? No, it was Jesus being raised from the dead (Mark 16:14). Romans 10:1-13 connects belief in Jesus being raised from the dead with our righteousness. Self-righteous acts will make us ignorant to the Righteousness of God, yet it’s the Righteousness of God giving us the confidence of believing Jesus is raised from the dead. Where is the Righteousness? In the New Man (Eph 4:24). The First Resurrection is the Resurrection of Jesus, it’s not complete until the same Spirit raises us at what is called the Rapture. It’s not a separate Resurrection, but the finish of the First. There are parts, those who are Dead in Christ, those who sleep in Jesus through the night to be raised on the last day, then judged according to their works of Mercy. Then the drunken (Wicked) who go into the Night. The last resurrection is based on a power from without, it too has parts. There are those who resurrected unto Life, then those who are resurrected unto damnation, or the second death. It’s appointed unto all to die once, then comes the Judgment. Therefore, we find one element of the Doctrine of Christ is having the knowledge of eternal judgment.

Paul understood the Resurrection from the dead included two Resurrections; in his letter to the Philippians he used two different Greek words for the word Resurrection, one means to be stood up from a power within, the other means to be stood up from a power without. Paul wanted to know Jesus, and the Power of the Resurrection, why not the Power of the Cross? Because the resurrection is the purpose for the Cross. No one is going to be resurrected unless a death takes place. In our case we impute the flesh dead on the Cross of Jesus, called picking up our cross. Then we are given the Holy Spirit of Promise, as the same Spirit declaring Jesus as the Son of God (Rom 1:4).

Lazarus was not resurrected, he was resuscitated to the same flesh and natural life, thus Jesus is the first born from the dead, the very first Resurrected, which means His Resurrection is called the First Resurrection, one from a power within. Paul then added his desire to attain the Resurrection (power from within); however, if for some reason he didn’t make the First, he knew he would make the resurrection unto life (power from without). Some of us would have rebuked him for a lack of faith, “what’s wrong man? Where’s your faith? Speak it, you will make the Rapture”. Paul’s fait, like his Trust were in God, he knew he would be with the Lord in the end.

In the Book of Revelation we find those who are Partakers of the First Resurrection are raised before the 1,000 years begins, as they reign with Christ (Rev 20:6). Paul also taught the Thessalonians about the “catching away”, or as it reads in the Latin “Rapture”, when those of us who remain are caught up to meet the dead in Christ in the clouds, what clouds? The metaphor Clouds refers to Witnesses, Jesus was received by the Witnesses  comprised of the captives taken captive, making up one cloud. Stephen and James began the second cloud, thus Jesus comes back with Clouds, but left with a Cloud.

 When the other saints passed from this earth, who were in Dead in Christ they joined to make another Cloud, giving us Clouds. Then we read about some type of Trump, but there are three trumps; there are two joined as the first and last, then there is the Great Trump, so the last of the two is not the last of the three. The first trump has sounded when Jesus was raised from the dead, the last of the two will sound at the Rapture, but the Great will sound at the Judgment. Judgment? Ahh, the Doctrine of Christ. If there is eternal Judgment, there must be eternal Salvation, for we can’t have one without the other. Judgment relates to the Resurrection from the dead, but don’t forget the Day ends with the Rapture, and we are children of the Day, we are not children of the Night, or children of darkness (I Thess 5:5).

The Doctrine of Christ has some opposites, in Second Peter we find there are those who have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who have also entangled themselves back into the world (perdition), like a dog returning to its vomit, or a pig to the wallowing, they loved the feelings they obtained from the things of the world, more than the love of serving God (II Pet 2:19-22). The Doctrine of Christ will enlighten us to several things, when we see the opposites, we can see the positives as well. Hebrews 6:4-6 shows what happens when one "falls away”, yet one can’t fall away unless they have reached a place where falling is possible. It would be impossible for Adam to fall, if he were not in a place where falling was possible. Adam didn’t fall after the fall, he fell causing the fall. The Doctrine of Christ will Enlighten us, it will grant us a Taste of the Gift from heaven (Grace), grant us to be Partakers of the Holy Ghost, to taste the good Word (Rhema) of God, giving us Faith toward God, as we know the power of Judgment in the age of the Night to come, thus giving us the more than a taste of the Power and Authority granted to those of the Day. Not to get confused, each element in Hebrews 6:4-6 shows what the person had, yet rejected, so if they rejected it, surely they had it to hold onto as well. Where else in Hebrews does it relate to this? Oh yes, “Now the Just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, My Soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we (you and I) are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them who believe unto the saving of the soul (Heb 10:38-39).

Those who fall away have “tasted”, which means they haven’t consumed, they have no root in themselves, not because the seed wasn’t planted, rather it was because they lacked patience and discipline, they heard, but retained the spirit of the world, producing the he of the world in them, yet they desired to appear morally correct, or Christian in the eye of man.

The basics of the Doctrine of Christ give us a foundation, also some insight to how great it is to be alive in this time. The Greatness of the Grace of God, with what it means to have faith toward God. It takes the Spirit of Christ to be a Partaker of the First Resurrection, as we hold a firm belief of God Is. The carnal soul can’t, the wild mind can’t, but the New Man can. The world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but we’re headed to heaven in the hand of Jesus. The time is short, let us reach out to the world, and see if we can fill the Hand of the Lord. Selah. 

Note: The use of SOZO Bible Study Lessons, Newsletters or Short Studies (written/penned by Pastor G. Evan Newmyer as scribe and author, prior to his passing from this world) has been given to Ann M. Wolf by written permission from the author, as was customarily granted to alumni of the Sozo Bible Institute. This limited permission is given under clear agreement to never “charge” specific amounts for the Lessons, but rather to share the material with others as the Spirit leads, for the purpose of “edification and encouragement,” on a free will offering basis, and while honoring the biblical principal to “teach the truth in love.” We ask then, that the desires of the original scribe (Rev. Newmyer) be respected; therefore the material can be shared among those who are dedicated in their study of the Bible, but shared freely without charging specific fees and with respect to the copyright laws of the land and states. All rights are reserved.

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