I would like to summarize the teachings on the Elementary Doctrines. From the book of Hebrews we laid out the Elementary Doctrines as repentance from acts that lead to death, faith toward God, baptisms, the resurrection of the dead, the laying on of hands and eternal judgment. (Inserted – actual verse—“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” – Hebrews 6:1,
What would happen if you did not attend elementary school and became an adult not having had the benefit of the training that comes from going to elementary school? Well here are some obvious results: it’s highly unlikely that you would know how to read because you would never have learned to associate letters with sounds to make words. Equally true is that you would not know how to write; there would be no practice in creating these letters. What would be also true is that you probably couldn’t count and do simple mathematical transactions like balancing a checkbook. It doesn’t require much in the way of intelligence to see that if you skipped elementary school and became an adult you would be severely hampered by the lack of the training that comes from being in elementary school. Yet, when you are an adult, there is something of a temptation to look back—almost ruefully—on elementary school because now you know so well what you learned in elementary school that it doesn’t seem so important a step.
As I travel around today through the body of Christ—I find a shocking level of immaturity among believers across the board from country to country and from leadership to new converts. And as I’ve looked at it and considered it I’ve wondered, “Why exactly is this so?” Then I consider the church system and what I see is that the entire system is set up—first to gain members and second, to keep members and it actually benefits the present system to keep people in infancy.
Yet when you’ve been in infancy for long enough—for enough of a term of years—there is the belief that just because you’ve shown up every time the doors are open to the church building or the meeting place that you have a certain seniority and commonly that’s the basis on which people are appointed to leadership. But I observe two recurring trends: one is the fact that people regularly say to me, “Iknow that there is something more than what I have known or what I have understood. But whenever I ask the leadership I am routinely told that that’s it; that’s what ‘we’ understand. The rest of it is in the realm of “mysteries”—you can’t really understand, no one knows… who can tell.” That’s from the standpoint of the people.
The other thing that I’ve observed from the standpoint of the leaders is equally shocking and that is: when pressure comes, how quickly they go to ungodly methods for the resolving of problems. For example I cannot begin to lay out the litany of times and circumstances in which, say a problem arose among the leadership involving the misuse of money, the inappropriateness of sexual conduct and so on. Do you know what the leadership routinely does—and it is a shameful thing—the leadership routinely covers it up and throws the offender to the wolves. And if you ask them, “Why?” they will say, “I’ve got to protect the church first and if I tell the people what the truth is that has happened, they’ll go somewhere else, or they’ll quit giving, or whatever else.”
And yet the church today is congregated in increasingly larger and larger—but fewer in number—congregations. The small churches are disappearing and the mega-churches are thriving but there aren’t any more believers being added and the quality of the believer is dramatically declining…the quality meaning: their level of maturity in both the leadership and the people. The leadership being willing to employ ungodly methods for the preservation of the institution, and thepeople—not being sure what else there is and where else to go and how to even grow up.
Now there is an answer to all of this and the answer is as simple as elementary school. The book of Hebrews describes the elementary doctrines as the following six things: repentance from acts that lead to death, faith toward God, baptisms (plural), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. (Inserted – Hebrews 6:1,2) The chances are—if you have not been studying this series with me—you probably have not heard of more than one of these six things. There may be several of these things that you have not heard of in your entire life as a believer and you may have been in the church for any number of years. I’m telling you this plainly: you skipped elementary school and you have not the skills to grow up to maturity.
Yet peoplewant to grow on to maturity but without the basic skills there is no way that you can. You do not acquire the basic understanding of these things and the practice of them routinely throughout your life without having first been exposed to them. The tragedy is that in the present cult of personalities—which is the classic formation of the modern church—everybody has a hero that they gravitate toward and they are known as the followers of this person or that person or the other person, much like the Corinthians declared their following of Paul, Apollos, Cephas and even some who said that they were the church of Christ—as opposed tonot being Paul, Apollos, or Cephas. (Inserted – actual verse—“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’” – I Corinthians 1:10-12)
The fact is that the body of Christ isnot divided but in the modern church, like the ancient church, the people are seeing that their loyalty to Christ is defined in terms of their loyalty to movements and to the personalities associated with those movements. And the personality associated with those movements and those churches typically tend not to bother to disabuse their followers of that notion because it is all about how many people follow you and how influential you are in the marketplace. The result of which is as I have said: the leadership will do anything to keep the systems propped up and to keep their agendas going and to keep their ministries solvent and thriving. And the people are suffering because they have not the basic training and understanding to go on beyond these stages of immaturity.
If you were taught these elementary doctrines this is what you would have known and practiced routinely throughout your life as a believer. If you had known about repentance from acts that lead to death you would have known the way the enemy targets you after you are a believer and how he would bring forth to you such things as would make you to continue to be a victim of his schemes. You would know, for example—if the enemy brought back things that you have done in the past of which you have been forgiven—you would know that all you would have to do is declare that you were forgiven. If you were doing things presently that the enemy could use against you, you would know that all you would have to do is repent. In that way you would break the hold of the enemy and you would live routinely being able to distinguish between when you are guilty and when you have been forgiven.
The majority of Christians live in the gray area of not knowing what they are guilty of or even if they are guilty and the enemy has a field day with them. So if you had been taught the elementary doctrines you would have always known that you can get rid of any demonic spirit that lives in you and that oppresses you and that it would be a routine matter. There’s no shame to have a demon, it’s just a shame to have one you won’t get rid of. But if you had learned the elementary doctrine you wouldn’t have considered it some great secretive ministry of deliverance. It would have been routine, inyour life, in the lives of your families and in people around you. There is no point in having a deliverance ministry when it’s something that’s available to the whole body. If a demon offends, get it out of the way and go on… no point in making a livelihood out of that.
If you had been taught faith toward God, you would have always known that though the eternal is invisible, yet it’s very real because you would have been taught how to recognize the evidence of things not seen so that your reliance on the truth would have been unfailing and unshaken year after year. As it stands, many believers will—in their day of trouble—wonder if God even hears them, wonder if their prayers are being heard. What we find is that we are still praying at the level of infants. There are multiple stages in the life of a believer and you grow from one to another to another.
When you are young in the Lord you are still a child of God, much like when you are a newborn babe you are still a member of the family. That’s “nepios”—that stage of life when the believer is just a baby—but then you grow to “paidion”, which is sort of the potty-training stage. Then you grow to a “teknion”, which is like a teenager… you handle more complicated things. Then you become a fully mature son, or the “huios”. Then finally when you have learned all of these things you become a father, a “pater”. Your faith, then, grows from the struggling faith of an infant, who wants to be fed, to be kept dry and to be put to sleep when they need to be. These are the cryings that a child cries out for—that’s analogous to, when you are very young in the Lord, believing God for money, for your health, for your prosperity, for your well-being—but if that’s where you stay in your faith in Jesus then the greater things in the Kingdom are not available to you and you act like the Gentiles act.
You continually beseech God for the things that perish when the Scriptures say, “If you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, these things will be added unto you.” (Inserted – actual verse—“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33) But you don’t start out seeking the kingdom first, you start out asking God for a parking space in a crowded parking lot, you start out asking God for enough money to pay your bills and for your health and so on. That’s okay, but there comes a point where your faith needs to grow beyond that and reach for the true riches of God, which are the treasures of the kingdom. It’s God’s great delight to give you the kingdom and to give you the Holy Spirit. Most people, all they will ever want are health and wealth. That says that you are always in infancy in the matter of your faith. If you were taught faith properly, as your stages grew so would your faith, therefore you would not be stuck wondering if there is more to it than this.
Then there are baptisms: we talked about four different baptisms. If people were properly taught the baptismof the Holy Spirit they would have always known that they were born again into a kingdom of power. So the great commission would not have been a suggestion but it would have been a commission corresponding to power—the power to accomplish the thing that God has sent you to do. So the Gospel, and the going-forth of the truth would not be limited to what you and a collection of you, together, can do. If you had learned about the baptism of the Spirit, then, you would have always known that you were born into a kingdom of power and you would not come up with the ridiculous thought that you should seek God for “who He is” rather than for His power. You would know that when He came to you He would come to you also with power—it’s not one or the other, it’s both. He comes being who He is.
If you were properly taught the baptismby the Spirit, which is from ICorinthians the 12th chapter, which says, “For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.” (Inserted – actual verse—“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” – I Corinthians 12:13) You would have always known that you had a destiny in God, known from the foundations of the world. You would have always known that this destiny was how God intended to live and intends to live through your person in time and space. So you would never have wondered if you had a ministry, you would have always known that you had a ministry and you would not simply settle for an adjunct of somebody else’s ministry nor would you find your identity in relationship to the charitable intentions of somebody else.
We would have always understood, then, that the leadership did not exist to articulate a ministry into which you could “fit”. But instead the leadership would exist to help you discover the ministry that God has for you and to assist you to take up that ministry and to walk in it. That being so, if you had seen that the baptismby the Spirit is your personal placement—by the Holy Spirit, into the body of Christ consistent with the will and plan of God, known for you from before the foundations of the world—then you would have also always known that there was onlyone body. And you would never consent to the division of the body because you would know that your personal role would be greatly enhanced—indeed would be fundamentally dependent upon—everybody else being who God made them to be.
If you were baptized in suffering—the baptism of fire—you would have always known that it is by suffering that the soul is saved. It is not discipleship that saves the soul—discipleship is a matter of holding people accountable—but it is suffering that causes you to let go of your notion of what you could do for God and be refined by the suffering to become so available to God—your ears, your senses attuned to God—that you could know what God was saying to you in the moment and your soul would leave off what it wanted and embrace what God wants. You would not consider suffering to be because you had “messed up” and God was angry at you or that you were just doing the wrong thing. You would know that there was a place for it and you would not just repent again and again and again of things that you had already repented of. You would see that suffering was leading you into another place of awareness and understanding of the things of God.
And finally—under the subject of baptisms—if you were baptized in water you would have always known that the old creature had died and a new creation had risen up where the old creature was. So when the enemy came back to accuse you of things you have done—before you were a believer, in some cases 20 to 30 years ago—you would know that he was wrong, that he was false and you wouldn’t give into it. You would understand that Jesus pleads your case for you and has already offered satisfaction for your sins—God had already accepted this satisfaction—and so even if you were personally guilty of these things, there was no basis on which you might be condemned. These things you would know if you had been taught the matter of baptisms.
If you had been taught the laying on of hands, you would have known that—in addition to the purpose of the laying on of hands for healing, and for the baptism of the Spirit—you would also expect, at a certain point in your life to be confirmed in who you are in the Lord… that you have a purpose, a destiny, a calling from God and that you were to be confirmed in it. And at a certain point after you were confirmed, you could be released to go forth—whether it is in your own location, on a broader basis or even into the world—you could go forth into your calling, having been properly commissioned and properly sent. If you were taught, then, the doctrine of the laying on of hands, you would expect to be confirmed.
The majority of people are struggling to have a ministry because they have never been confirmed and sent. The churches are not set up to send you. They talk about releasing the church but they have no clue as to what to do because the politics of the present church is to “gather up and keep”… not “send”. Gather up and keep as many as they can and what they will do is that they will create ministries to try to involve you in those ministries so you will stay faithful to that church group. But the truth is: that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. You have a unique ministry, not some church program that you are meant to fit in. Confirmation, through the laying on of hands, and the sending would result in an anointing sufficient to establish you and to bring you forth in the things of God.
Beyond that, the resurrection of the dead—you would know that our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is unique in all the earth—that God can only be described as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because God proved that Jesus is the one who speaks for Him, inasmuch as Jesus was raised from the dead. That being so, we serve a Living God—not a dead god, not an idea, not cosmic karma, not the collective unconscious—but a person who is alive and His resurrection from the dead is the proof that He told us the truth and therefore our faith in Him is not in vain. With the resurrection of the dead we would also believe that not only was Jesus raised from the dead but you who are born again have been raised also from the dead and the condition of death that is associated with Adam—and your birth and life through Adam—that death would have cancelled your association with Adam, made you available for adoption as a son of God.
You would have always known, then, that you were raised up—not as a creature, a sinner saved by grace—but a new creation who has a divine nature which is the impartation of your father to you, the evidence of which is the presence within you of the very blessed Holy Spirit. You would have always known that. And finally, you would have known—in connection with the resurrection of the dead—you would have known to expect that even though you die, you will live again. So death has no sting, the grave has no victory. You cannot be subject to the spirit of death or hell and in the last day, your body—which was sown in the earth—will be resurrected and brought back from heaven—ascended to heaven and brought back in fulfillment of the truth that you are born again from above. God said so, and the day will come when He will show it to the whole earth as the millennium begins.
And finally, if you were taught eternal judgment, you would not mindlessly embrace Christian activism because you would understand that there are limits to what God allows you to do in redressing evil in this present world. You would not be bound by a linear view that says, “We have got to do something about it, otherwise nothing will be done.” You would have always known that when God does not redress the matter here and now that there is yet coming a day in which He will bring every thought, every action into judgment and that even though He allows evil to proliferate, He uses the prevalence of evil in the world to establish the righteousness of His own judgment. (Inserted – actual verse—“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:10-12) And you would not be moved by the imperialism of “doing something” to redress the wrong, when the thing that you would “do” would itself be wrong. So you would not compromise the absolute certainty of the Christian faith for the rather tentative and tenuous result of some immediate social action. You would not be blown around—whether by political activism, whether by joining political parties, whether by protesting various things—you would know what the Spirit wants you to do about anything.
These are the reasons that Christians are stuck in this basic place, knowing that “there is more to it than that” but somehow not being able to transcend because you have never been taught the elementary doctrines. If this is the first of these broadcasts that you are listening to, you have got to go back and get copies of the entire set of twelve additional messages fully prosecuting the elementary doctrines. I hope that you are blessed as you study these things. God bless you. Grow up to maturity, in the name of Jesus. I am greatful to my spiritual father Sam Soleyn who left for the Body of Christ this treasure of information, so that we all come to the unity of the faith, I love Papa.
Hebrews 6:1,2 I Corinthians 1:10-12 Matthew 6:33 I Corinthians 12:13 Romans 14:10-12