It is always something that all can notice: when the doctrines of men are mentioned, they are always in the plural and when the doctrine of Christ is mentioned-it is always in the singular—hence doctrines verses doctrine!! When we look at the doctrine of Christ it is that which was given in the first century. When we look at the doctrines of men, they are those which NEVER come from the first century! Reference John 7:16, 1 Timothy 4:6, 2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 1:9, and 2:1. When the Bible speaks of man-made doctrines it is always plural: reference Matthew 15:9, Colossians 2:22, 1 Timothy 4:1, and Hebrews 12:9. There is another outstanding difference between man-made doctrines and the doctrine of Christ: the doctrine of Christ started and was first taught in Jerusalem, all man-made doctrines started somewhere else, some even in America!!
Matthew 7:21-23, as we were discussing, concerns itself ONLY with the “once redeemed”! Jesus was perfectly indignant with them for their departure from His doctrine. These who approached our Lord, and you notice they approached Him, were even of the first century. Look at what they claimed and the Lord did not deny they had done: “they had cast out devils in Thy name”. This was apart of the miraculous era of the Lord’s church. This only existed in the first century and was that that was given through the laying on of the apostle’s hands!! There are many denominations that claim such miraculous working power, today-the only trouble with that is that miraculous powers came ONLY through the laying on of the apostles hands, Acts 8: 17-18, or they have to be one of the original apostles Jesus endowed with this power, Acts 1:4-5, and only continued until “that which is perfect is come”. 1 Corinthians 13:10, and it HAS come; Jude wrote that the Church of Christ is to “earnestly contend for the faith which has once and for all been delivered to the saints”. Jude verse 3.
They taught “in the name” of or by the authority of Christ, or this was their claim!!. This teaches us they WERE members of the Body of Christ at one time but had left their “first love” and gone about “teaching perverse things to draw away disciples.” Acts 20:30 Like the Pharisees and Sadducees before them, they wanted to “kill Him and seize His inheritance”. Matthew 21:38 These disciples wanted what rightfully belonged to the Master, to get what was His, they changed what He had taught to what “they wanted taught” and ignored His authority, yet claiming to speak FOR Him!! One would not think some who had been bought by the blood of God’s only Son would rise up against His authority and teach “another Jesus”, but that is exactly what our Lord mentions.
It is a dastardly trick for those who “had known the way of righteousness, to have turned from it”, 2 Peter 2:21. Paul, in the book written to the Church of Christ in Rome, chapter 16:17 says to “mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which they had learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus, but with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Romans 16:17-18 Did you notice they were teaching contrary to the doctrine, not doctrines? There was NO OTHER DOCTRINE in the first century other that the doctrine of Christ!! Christ only started ONE church, the rest were started by a man who thought he had a doctrine better than that of Christ!!
Jesus said; “I never knew you, depart from Me you that work iniquity (lawlessness, not according to My law)” Matthew 7:23 Christ did not deny that they had “worked”, what He did deny was that they had worked by or with His authority!! He did not support what they taught and were refusing to allow them into His eternal habitation