Good morning brothers and sisters in Jesus and to any visitors we may have today.

Let’s close our eyes in prayer.

Heavenly Father, I pray today that you will open both our ears and our hearts so that we may hear what you want to say to us. I pray that we may be both encouraged and challenged to do what we have heard. Amen.

I’ve named today’s session, the D word. When we talk about a swearword and we don’t want to repeat the actual word, we simply refer to the first letter of the swearword. The D word refers to doctrine. You may well be thinking why is Dave referring to doctrine as a swearword. Well the short answer is that in many churches, in fact in many so-called evangelical churches doctrine is seen as a swearword. If you are a believer that loves to talk about doctrine you may well be painted as ‘legalistic’ or divisive, as well as being unkind and unloving.

Before I carry on with reading the scriptures I’d like to do a short demonstration which I’ll refer back to from time to time. For the sake of those listening to the recording I’m going explain what I’m doing as I do it. I have in my hand a glass of clear water. I’m now going to drop a small tablet into the water and give it a good stir. The tablet that I’m busy stirring in is an Arsenic tablet. For those that don’t know Arsenic is a poison. Think of the old spy movies where the villain bites onto a false tooth to release the poison and then dies soon afterwards while foaming at the mouth.

The purpose for this little demo is this. Before I dropped the Arsenic tablet into the water, the water was pure. However once I dropped the Arsenic in it became poisonous or contaminated. There is no possible way that I can separate the two from each other now. If I had to try and drink this mixture now you would also think that I’m a bit crazy. It’s not like I can drink this mixture, keep the water and just spit out the poison. So physically so know this.

However, when it comes to doctrine the principal is no different. You can have 95% pure biblical and add 5% false doctrine and it becomes a mixture, just like what’s in this glass. The only way that you can get back to true biblical doctrine is to throw away the mixture, clean out the glass thoroughly and then pour pure water back into the glass.

The problem however with us is pride. We seem to think that we can separate out the true from the false doctrine, that we can somehow pull the arsenic from the water. This is true in our personal lives as well as listening to teachers that we admire.

This is where the old adage ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones’ has been used so many times. The phrase ‘but he’s such a loving man’ or ‘but he’s got most of it right’ is also quoted often when it comes to doctrine that is not right.

If you have your bibles with me this morning please turn with me to Mathew 23 verse 1.

MATTHEW 23:1-28

Pharisaism Exposed

'1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Eight Woes

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14[Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.'

Jesus hated the false religion of the Pharisees. Not the Torah or the law, but their false religion. He even says in verse 3 that ‘all that that they tell you, do and observe’. It was the behaviour of the Pharisees that was so wrong. They used their position to enrich themselves, status was everything to them and also how they appeared to other people.

It’s important to not hear that they also had the truth, which they hid from the common man. They were filled with falsehood, or false doctrine. The Pharisees were the religious leaders and their job was to feed the people with true doctrine and point them to God and the Messiah.

Turn with me please to 1 Timothy chapter 4 vs 16: 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Now page ahead to 1 Timothy chapter 6

1 TIMOTHY 6:3-21:

'3If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.

Grace be with you.'

I asked Wends yesterday what her greatest concern was for the church right now and her answer was in essence ‘false teaching coming into the church’ to which I replied. My greatest fear is ‘the false church’. False doctrine isn’t coming into the church. It’s already in the church.

We  need to understand as Medway that in many ways we are in a bubble, it’s a good bubble but nevertheless a bubble. We are incredibly blessed to hear scripture being read from the front and hearing teachings that point us to Jesus but we are in a tiny minority. You may think that I’m exaggerating but I really am not.

My concern is that in our bubble we are being bounced around in the flow of the church and what are we going to do when that bubble bursts? Because if we read the word and look at the way the world is moving, our bubble is going to burst. Please understand when I say our bubble is going to burst I’m not talking about Medway falling apart, I’m talking about the fact that we are going to be faced with the reality that the world is trying to break apart what we stand for and the assault is increasing. And it’s not just the world, the church at large is moving away or deviating from the very doctrines we as believers are meant to hold dear.

Twenty or thirty years ago we would look at the evangelical church as being the true church. We knew that the Roman Catholic church wasn’t true because their Jesus was a different Jesus. We knew that the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses were a cult, we knew that the main stream churches like the Presbyterians and the Anglicans were compromising  and have now compromised to the extent where they are ordaining homosexual and lesbian priests.

So we’ve been in a bit of a holy huddle thinking that as part of the evangelical church we’re doing okay and sticking to the truth.

I’m afraid that is no longer the case. We now have evangelical leaders openly heading away from biblical doctrine and encouraging others to do the same.

True biblical doctrine is described as the following:

The basic meaning of the term doctrine is “teaching.” Christian doctrine, accordingly, is the attempt to state in intellectually responsible terms the message of the gospel and the content of the faith it elicits.

In other words biblical doctrine is the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles on how to become born from above and then how we live our lives once we are born again. True doctrine also includes the old testament which Jesus and the apostles refer to in many of the new testament writings.

If you’re making notes please write this down.

True doctrine will always point you to Jesus and the blessed hope we have as believers in His return. False doctrine is man centered and focusses on this world and this life.

Ephesians 6:14-17 says the following: '14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God'

Truth comes before anything else. The breastplate is fixed to the belt of truth so the truth is the foundation of our defense.

In essence, if our doctrine isn’t right, we cannot love the way we should. Without true doctrine our love is simply emotional.

I’d like to use some basic examples to show where I’m coming from because I need to know how to apply true doctrine to everyday life.

So let’s start at the beginning. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1. That is biblical doctrine. False doctrine says that God did not create the earth or the universe and that this is all an accident. Now in times past it would be Christians that believe that God created the world and everyone else thought the opposite. We’re now at a point where so called Christians are saying evolution is science and should be taught in schools and that religion should be kept separate.

Also in the beginning Genesis said that God created man and woman. True doctrine. We’re being told now that we can be whatever gender we want to be. In fact you can pick any of 58 different genders on Facebook. This is false doctrine.

In Genesis God created man and woman to be different from each other physically, mentally and emotionally but both being made in His image. He made them different but when they came together and became one, the result would be a new person, a baby. He even made sex enjoyable so that procreation wouldn’t simply be a mechanical act to make another person. God went even further and said ‘go forth and multiply’ because He wanted to see the world filled with people. Fallen man has done the opposite, the act of sex has become the focus and the aim of sex, the baby, has become trash. The world has chosen to follow a false doctrine, and the false church is endorsing this.

To add to this. In God’s eyes He made man and woman perfectly. He designed them to work together, to be together to have children. So a woman being with woman, and a man being with a man is an abomination to Him because it’s a rebellion against His original plan and design.

You may be thinking. Okay Dave, we get it, we’ve heard this all  before, but what can you expect from the world?

I want to read something to you from the front page of a church website.


Origin of Progressive Christianity

In keeping with our “reformed and reforming” identity, we have embraced a movement that began in 2006 called Progressive Christianity. The movement was a part of a larger movement called “the emerging church.” At the heart of these movements was the desire to articulate a way of being Christian that was an alternative to the Christian faith portrayed in the public realm. The leaders of Progressive Christianity had grown weary of defining their Christian faith in negative terms: “We aren’t fundamentalists. We don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant or infallible word of God. We don’t agree that Creationism should replace the science of evolution in public schools. We don’t believe that God hates gays. We don’t believe that people of other faiths are going to hell unless they convert to Christianity. We don’t deny the right of women to choose what happens to their bodies.”

Our Progressive Beliefs


To love God, to love our neighbor, and to love ourselves.


Christianity is the truth for us. But it is not the only truth.

This principle stems from the reality of the 21st century. We share our lives with people who are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist. We experience these people as loving and caring by following their religious traditions. To deny that is to deny that God can only draw people with one way. That simply isn’t born out in our experience.

The power of the Christian faith to transform lives does not require it to be exclusively true. Exclusivity is born out of fear. The fear that there is one train to God and if you aren’t on the right train, you’ll go to hell. We believe there are many trains and God welcomes them all.


Care of the Earth and its ecosystems is an expression of Christian faith and stewardship.

This principle stems from our ever-widening understanding of climate change and influence our “carbon footprint” has on the quality of the air, water and soil. Science and religious faith are friends – each informs the other.  Wisdom and insight from both are essential for Christian faith.


To those in our family and in our local and global communities.

Further, love of neighbor includes affirmation of the LBGTQ community, immigrants, people of other faith traditions and even those who are enemies.


Worship, prayer, music, study of the Bible and other literature feeds the mind, heart and spirit.

Love of self also includes giving time for rest, recreation, nurturing friendship, a healthy diet and physical exercise. Love of self requires humility and humor.

So it’s not just the world. It’s in the church, and that should scare us. It should open our eyes to the fact that we need to guard our lives and our doctrine just the way that Paul told Timothy too.

And it’s not just in the main stream church that has been going downhill for years now. It’s in the evangelical or bible believing church.

I’m going ask a question that is going to require some audience participation which everyone dreads but it’s important. How many people here have heard of Rick Warren?

Great. So that would be most of you.

According to the Saddleback Church website Rick Warren has trained over 400 000 pastors through the Purpose Driven Church and Purpose Driven Life programme. He has set up his global peace plan as well that has gained a huge amount of momentum. These 400 000 pastors are mostly evangelical and not Anglicans or Presbyterians. They are meant to have a biblical faith and to follow the doctrine that Jesus and the apostles taught. They are now being taught through his global peace plan that they need to partner with Catholics and even other religions in order to bring about global peace. They are being taught to look after the poor but not to tell them that without faith in Jesus they will go to hell. He is teaching a man centered, false doctrine to hundreds of thousands of pastors that in turn are feeding this stuff to their own congregations.

He is no better than the Pharisees. Externally everything looks great but inside it’s rotten. The true doctrine that Jesus and the apostles taught has become contaminated, and the mixture is deadly.

I know that right now I may have offended some people here today but my intention is not to offend, but to inform, to shake up and encourage every person here to check that you:

16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Revelation 14 from verse 9-11 says the following:

'9Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”'

Not everyone enjoys spending time in Revelation but I’m sure that short passage is something that everyone has heard. The meaning has always been plain that if anyone receives the mark of the beast they go to hell because they’ve chosen to worship Satan.

What would you do if I told you that a well known, well loved teacher that many of you know has said that’s it’s possible to take the mark of the beast, and then repent and be saved in direct opposition to scripture? His name is John McArthur and you can see it for yourself on Youtube if you wish too.

By know many of you may think I’ve gone loopy and that I’m just trying to be divisive, or break up the unity of the church. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Our Heavenly father wants us to follow the true doctrine of Jesus and the apostles so we will not be shaken and that we can stand and persevere when both the world and the compromising church is throwing false doctrine at us.

Hold up the glass of water again.

God does not like a mixture. He doesn’t want us to mix false doctrine and true doctrine. The more false doctrine we take in the more man centered and worldly focused we become.

If we love the true doctrine, that we can see easily see and study in scripture our focus will be upward, and we will then want Jesus to come back as soon as He can because we want to be with him.

Each one of us get’s our doctrine from scripture, through a direct relationship with Jesus. Jesus is our teacher, we shouldn’t get our doctrine on a Sunday from the pulpit but through studying scripture for ourselves and wrestling and asking questions from Jesus. Am I saying that we can’t listen to solid bible teachers. Absolutely not, but the minute they deviate from the truth of the word, walk away.

Let’s pray:

Lord, I pray that today as we leave that You guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Father help us to have the courage to stick to your true doctrine that you have set before us in your word. Help us to contend for the truth that we have in Jesus, not to be apathetic, but to earnestly seek your will, in truth.