This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Everyone has traditions that they believe in and not all traditions are necessarily bad, even Paul had traditions that he advised his converts to remember and practice (1 Cor. 4:17; 11:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:15). But too often we find ourselves relying upon and practicing passed forms of conduct instead of making study progress in our knowledge of and walk with God. Let us see if we can begin to grasp how traditions are formed and how debilitating (enfeebling or weakening) they can become.
A Full Gospel Church that I attended in the past had a black man from Kenya, South Africa as guest speaker. This is the first time that I had ever been present where the speaker tried to stir up a Charismatic-Toronto-laughing type revival. The music at this church was lively, and he used that as an opening to invite the young people up front as he gently urged the singers and the young people into more energetic and repetitious singing as they marched around the church.
When he went into the preaching part of his presentation, he began to speak of a worldwide revival and times of refreshing, and the need for seekers to become actively involved. He said that God was wanting to bring us into confusion of the type in Acts chapter two where people thought those filled with the Holy Spirit were drunk – he suggested that there had been people laughing, crying, falling down and causing all kinds of commotion. But the Bible states that God is not the author of confusion and disorder (1 Cor. 14:33), and describes the events on the day of Pentecost as a sound from heaven like a rushing wind, tongues resembling fire that settled on each of them, and that they spoke in many languages foreign to them telling of the mighty works of God (Acts 2:1-13).
Then he began to call people out of the audience and ask them what was happening to them. Although I could not see them before he called them, I’m sure that he called upon the ones he could see, by the countenance of their faces, had been prepared by his presentation to respond in the manner he was trying to bring about, because most became emotional when he began to speak with them and had nothing really significant to say. One young lady began to laugh for a time, but when she finally went back to her seat the speaker called her back up; probably trying to produce the same reaction in others, but it didn’t work.
After about two hours of this he finally turned the meeting back to the pastor, and the pastor immediately dismissed the congregation. There is no way to know the speaker’s heart; whether he sincerely thought he was doing what the Lord wanted or if he knowingly tried to deceive the people, but I’m sure it was not the Lord’s doing. My opinion is that he used the people’s good intentions and desires to put them in a position where they would be susceptible to his suggestions, because they did not want to hinder a supposed revival from God.
During the next week the thought occurred to me several times that in one respect what had taken place last Sunday was not all that unusual for a Pentecostal church; most Pentecostal churches try to excite and stir up people to respond exuberantly to what is being presented. It wasn’t so much the way or method that this speaker had used that was different, but the content or words that he used that signaled his familiarity with and desire to produce a laughing type revival. Therefore people who were unfamiliar with the rhetoric – worldwide revival, times of refreshing, confusion, misapplication of Acts chapter two, and the acceptance and promotion of laughing could just pass it off as something just a little bit different. While singing, shouting and praising God are in themselves acceptable; misusing Scripture and using human technics to manipulate the people by the power of suggestion into unbiblical behavior is not.
All this leaves me with the question, how much of what takes place in our churches is really acceptable to God? The only pattern God has given us regarding how our services should be conducted is found in 1 Corinthians chapters 11-14, where the whole emphasis is on presenting information that is understandable and useful, not confusion that leads to disorder. It seems to me that many are committed more to a form than they are to the teachings of the Bible. While they proclaim the Bible as the inspired Word of God, they live more by their proclamations than they do by the instructions contained in the Bible. There is very little searching of the Scriptures and only a small portion of Scripture is read as an illustration for a long presentation of Pentecostal beliefs and practices.
I’m of the opinion that most people are just not aware that many of the technics and practices used by past and present revivalists are only man’s efforts to manipulate the people by suggestion, and are sometimes aided by evil spirits. There are probably many who realize that something is wrong, but just don’t know what it is or what can be done to correct it and bring about the changes God desires.
To adhere to a form instead of the Word of God limits what God is able to accomplish in and with His people. Most, if not all, Christian churches hold and practice a form for church meetings different from the one God has presented in 1 Cor. 14:26-40. There are many advantages to God’s way, and many disadvantages to any other way:
EPHESIANS 5:10-20.... And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]. Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret. But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light. Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. [Isa. 26:19; 60:1,2.]
15Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. [Prov. 23:20.] Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Eph 6:10-18.... In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
13Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, and having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.] Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).
The contacts that I have had with Pentecostal churches in the past leads me to believe that almost anything that claims to be Pentecostal is accepted as appropriate and valid, there is a great reluctance to expose, or even examine, false teaching. The primary reason seems to be that though they claim to rely upon the Bible, they rely more upon their tradition, and some of their tradition is contrary to God’s Word.
This morning as I was reading in Galatians I realized the similarity between what I was reading and the conclusions I had come to. Paul had to reprimand Peter because he allowed himself to be motivated by tradition instead of his true convictions regarding Jews associating with gentiles (Gal. 2:11-21). As a result Paul says that even Barnabas was carried away by Peter’s hypocrisy. This is the danger of neglecting correction, unless false teaching or practice is stopped immediately, it snowballs and gets worse. As Paul stated in verse 18 of the same chapter, when we do this we find ourselves building with one hand and at the same time tearing down with the other – a very confusing and disastrous way to live. I believe that God used this passage of Scripture to confirm that the conclusion that I had come to, was the right one.
Another way that tradition can be described would be to call it a Biblical Philosophy; by this I mean that portions of Scripture are grouped together to form the basic beliefs and practices of the congregation. What usually happens is that other Scriptures that would modify their philosophy go unnoticed, and therefore their expectations, based upon their incomplete understanding of Scripture, do not materialize. The main reason is that we are not adequately teaching our people the whole counsel of God, and therefore they are unprepared to face the deception that they run into. This deception was deliberately planned back in the 1930s by the Globalists and Humanists, and is not only in our public schools, but in most other American institutions as well. See our web page entitled, The Battle For Truth Is Almost Lost.
The traditional way for most Pentecostal churches to attempt to solve the above problem is to pray for God’s miraculous intervention, and to become politically and socially involved against the ungodly practices. To attempt to change society through worldly methods is not Biblical, and to pray for God’s intervention when we have neglected to obey his Word to teach the whole counsel of God is doubtful to bring the desired result until we recognize our failure, repent and obey.
The majority of Pentecostal sermons are taken from or end up in the Gospels, and they rely heavily upon receiving whatever they ask for, even though there is very little or no evidence that they do. But still the tradition of miraculous events is upheld, which is another reason that they are reluctant to doubt or question anything said from the pulpit. The tendency is to jump to the conclusion that God has or is going to miraculously intervene in our behalf, only to find out that He has not. I have had this happen to me several times, but you never hear anyone confess this kind of an experience. I remember hearing an evangelist say one time that if he prayed for someone and they dropped dead, he would just step over him and pray for the next one in line – this seems to be the prevailing attitude and practice among Pentecostals.
Jesus prayed for and successfully healed and delivered many needy people, but He never had any die on Him. He once touched a blind man and then asked him if he could see. The blind man said he could see men, but they looked like trees walking. Jesus touched him again, and then he could see perfectly (Mk. 8:22-25). Jesus never failed at what He set out to do, but there were occasions when the disciples did. John 5:30 tells us that Jesus never did anything without having received the Fathers’ instructions beforehand, and this has to be the primary reason that we fail; we take for granted that the desires of our heart and mind are the Father’s instructions and when we act upon them, we fail. I believe that we ought to live with the assurance that God is watching over and keeping us, but we should not be trying to tell God or others how He should or is going to do it. The promise is "that if we ask anything according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us" (1 Jn. 5:14b). Another-words, just like Jesus, we have to have His consent.
The Pentecostal churches are certainly not the only ones who have been lead astray by some of their traditions. The majority of churches in the world today, of every description, have some traditional false beliefs. Many have neglected God’s Word and turned to worldly promotional gimmicks. I believe that most churches are unaware that they have been deceived by Satanic substitutes for God’s Word, and this is what makes it so pathetic. When it’s done knowingly and deliberately the anguish can be bearable, but when people are tricked into believing a lie it is almost too much to bear. If the truth were known, we would probably be surprised how few really believe and take God’s Word literally. The lack of faith that Jesus suggested would characterize His return has come to pass, "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8b), and, "We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work (John 9:4)."
GALATIANS 3:1-4.... O YOU poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom--right before your very eyes--Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?] Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh? Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing (to no purpose)--if it really is to no purpose and in vain?
The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ was not directed to feed the people a Smorgasbord cafeteria style message or program, but rather the Gospel is to be preached so that the people realize they need to change to meet God's standard, instead of looking for something else. When the Church offers something else, compromise, watering-down and diminishing of the Bible have begun. Humanistic philosophy, psychological theories and promotional pep-talks are some of the current tactics being used by churches to gain the interest and cooperation of the people.
Many of the tactics being used by churches today to attract and hold the people can and many times do actually mislead the people. Instead of being shown from Scripture that Jesus is the answer to every situation that we can face in life, they are shuffled off to help and support groups that use humanistic reasoning, with a little Bible thrown in, to try to find solutions to the questions and difficulties the people are inquiring about or experiencing. This is a terrible tragedy that goes unrecognized because, the people are being taught to trust in the efforts of men instead of in Jesus. When we fail to find our answer in Christ, we have failed to find the right answer. "We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:23-25).
God gave us the Bible so that we could know Him and how we should live. Whenever we turn to some other source we dishonor and reject Him and injure ourselves in the process. We dare not water-down the Gospel message by adding some man-made solution, "For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing" (1 Cor. 1:18-19).
As more and more people, or an individual, rejects the idea or belief that the Bible is God’s Word, and that it is the ultimate authority that we should look to in all matters concerning life, they have placed themselves in a position where they can feel justified in choosing an alternative to God’s instructions. There are those who call themselves atheists who don’t believe that there is a God, and therefore reject the Bible. There are those who believe in a different God, and therefore reject the Bible. There are those who believe that God is real, but still reject Him and the Bible. Then, there are those who believe in God and want to live according to His Word, but don’t have sufficient Biblical knowledge to do it, and then there are those who have, through some process, been deceived into accepting and believing something contrary to the instructions that God has revealed to us in His Word. No matter how they arrived at this point, they all are in danger of substituting what they hold to be more important than God’s Word as being alright or acceptable.
Jesus often chided the religious leaders for their errors, the following remarks from Jesus kind of lumps them all together into one category. "But He said to them, Excellently and truly [so that there will be no room for blame] did Isaiah prophesy of you, the pretenders and hypocrites, as it stands written: These people [constantly] honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far distant from Me. In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men. [Isa. 29:13.] You disregard and give up and ask to depart from you the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men [keeping it carefully and faithfully]. And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)! For Moses said, . . . Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing" (Mark 7:6-13).
Let’s take a well-known teaching of Jesus to illustrate how something Jesus said can become the basis of a false tradition.
JOHN 13:1-17.... [NOW] BEFORE the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree. So [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, [that] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant's] towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the [servant's] towel with which He was girded.
6When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?] Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with ( in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me]. Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too! Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you. For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean.
12So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another's feet. For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].
Some churches have taken this example at literal face value and occasionally wash one another’s feet, but a close examination of this passage along with other Scriptures indicates that Jesus had something else in mind; this very passage suggests as much. First of all, Jesus would not state that "you do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on" if He had physical foot washing in mind -- surely the disciples were able to recognize that Jesus was washing their feet. Neither would He have said to Peter that "unless I wash you, you have no part with ( in) Me" – Jesus will never wash our feet and yet we are already one with Him.
So what was the Lord telling them to do? The answer is found in the book of John where Jesus says, "I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me" (John 15:1-4).
We are to do as Jesus did throughout His ministry, He used the Word of God to daily or continually keep clean the lives of the disciples. We as well as they have been cleansed once and for all by the precious blood of Jesus, but we need to daily use the Word of God to wash our feet, and our brother’s feet after traveling this world’s dirty pathways.
So, if we merely wash ones physical feet and neglect to instruct and admonish one another with the Word of God, we have replaced or set aside the Word of God by practicing a tradition!
Here are some more passages of Scripture that I think have been traditionalized in the same way that foot washing has been. The passages we will be looking at are: Matt. 17:14-20, 21:18-22; Mark 11:20-24; and Luke 17:5-10.
MATTHEW 17:14-20.... And when they approached the multitude, a man came up to Him, kneeling before Him and saying, Lord, do pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy (is moonstruck) and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him. And Jesus answered, O you unbelieving ( warped, wayward, rebellious) and thoroughly perverse generation! How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, Why could we not drive it out? He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
MATTHEW 21:18-22.... In the early dawn the next morning, as He was coming back to the city, He was hungry. And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, How is it that the fig tree has withered away all at once? And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.
MARK 11:20-24.... In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree which You doomed has withered away! And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
The closest instruction in the epistles of the New Testament to what Jesus is teaching in these passages is, "If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [for being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]" (James 1:5-8). But these comments of James do not approach the weight and force of the words of Christ that we are considering, nor does that of any other NT writer; Jesus’ above words are recorded only by Matthew, Mark and Luke and they are not restated or taught by any other New Testament writer or disciple, why? "The attendants replied, Never has a man talked as this Man talks! [No mere man has ever spoken as He speaks!]" (John 7:46)
It must be because Jesus never meant for us to take His words literally to the point that we attempt and expect to move literal mountains, but figuratively by appropriate requests to accomplish God’s will in service – as with the foot-washing episode, for He spoke these words only to the twelve disciples; He never pulled up a tree and planted it in the sea; neither did He ever move a literal mountain. He obviously meant for us to understand that true faith can accomplish great things for the kingdom of God, and the following passage helps us understand how that kind of faith can be received.
LUKE 17:5-10.... The apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith (that trust and confidence that spring from our belief in God). And the Lord answered, If you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even [so small] like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.
7Will any man of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and take your place at the table? Will he not instead tell him, Get my supper ready and gird yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you yourself shall eat and drink? Is he grateful and does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do? Even so on your part, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, We are unworthy servants [possessing no merit, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have [merely] done what was our duty to do.
When we have become the kind of servant listed above, the kind that Jesus exemplified in Jn. 5:30, we will be given the kind of faith that Jesus is talking about. Only a faithful servant can be trusted with this kind of faith; "He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon ( deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another [whether God or man], who will give you that which is your own [that is, the true riches]? No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely)" (Luke 16:10-13). "If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7). "I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord--but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me" (John 5:30).
1 JOHN 5:13-15.... I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, yes, eternal life. And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
Therefore, the disciples did not spend time claiming or talking about great faith, they just went in pursuit of it by their faithfulness in serving. As they proved faithful, the faith was given to accomplish the task at hand. To speak of it and not pursue and demonstrate it is to make and practice a tradition!
The traditions of men have many forms; we are increasingly seeing them used by the church in substitution for the clear teachings of the Bible. Sometimes without knowing it, we are deceived by the tactics of the enemy and become partners with him as we practice some of the technics suggested to us by this world system.
PHILIPPIANS 3:17-21.... Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ. They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party. But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ [as] Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.
Peter tells us "For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence" (2 Peter 1:3 ). Therefore, when we take sides with or join with the rest of the world and rely upon the man-made techniques, methods and traditions of men instead of the provisions that are ours in Christ, we have effectively become an enemy of the cross of Christ.
All churches must be on guard against the intrusion of false concepts from the numerous elements in the Christian community that have mishandled or misinterpreted God’s Word. If we fail to do this we will find ourselves in a weakened condition as we attempt to live by these false concepts or traditions of men instead of the instructions of God – God cannot bless human effort! To see and examine some of these corrupting influences see the web page entitled, Satan’s Vast Network Of Deception And Opposition.
COLOSSIANS 2:6-10.... As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
2 TIMOTHY 4:1-5.... I CHARGE [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom: Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
2 PETER 2:1-3.... BUT ALSO [in those days] there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed. And in their covetousness (lust, greed) they will exploit you with false (cunning) arguments. From of old the sentence [of condemnation] for them has not been idle; their destruction (eternal misery) has not been asleep.