Why is it that exhortation unites us while teaching divides us ? But teaching cannot be done away with because it lays the foundation of our faith. Exhortation has to do with the ‘goodness of God’ and we are not double minded about it. Whereas teaching has to do with the ‘standard of God’ but we have double standards ! If there is only one Teacher and a single teaching, how did we end up so divided ? The strategy of the enemy has been to introduce as many teachers and teachings to divide us and rule over us. So we have the ‘teachings of men’ ( Mt 15 : 9 ) and the ‘teachings of demons’ ( 1Tim 4 : 1 ) apart from the true ‘teaching of Christ’. ( Jn 8 : 31)
Jesus said to his disciples : “Be on your guard against the … teachings of the Pharisees and Saducees.” (Mt 16 : 12 )
“They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” ( Mt 15 : 9 )
Paul the Apostle warned the Church at Ephesus : ‘Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard.’ ( Acts 21 : 30 )
‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings will come through hypocritical liars …’ ( 1Ti 4 : 1- 2 )
‘For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine … they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ ( 2 Tim 4 : 3 )
So we read in the book of Revelation : ‘You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam’ (Rev 2:14) … ‘you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans’ (Rev 2:15) … ‘you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants …’ (Rev 2 : 20)
If such teachings plagued the early Church, how much more would it have infested the Church of this age ?
Jesus said to the crowds and his disciples: “You have one Teacher, the Christ.” ( Mt 23 : 10 )
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” ( Jn 7 : 16 )
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” ( Jn 8 : 31 )
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” ( Jn 14 : 23 )
“It is written in the Prophets : They will be taught by God.” ( Jn 6 : 45, Isaiah 54 : 13 )
‘As for you, the Anointing you have received… teaches you about all things … just as it has taught you, remain in Him.’ ( 1 Jn 2 : 27 ) Amen.