Gospel E-Word:

                Evil Communications


In I Corinthians 15:33,34 the Apostle Paul gives us the following sobering admonition: "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." When we think about a scripture like this one, we are generally conditioned to think that the evil communications being mentioned, have to do with people trying to talk to us about the kind of sins that we once practiced before we were washed in the blood of the Lamb; or the sins that the remainder of the unbelieving world is now practicing. Most of God's people are very aware of the danger of being partakers of overtly sinful conversation, and are on guard against conversing with people who are talking about drunkenness, fornication, partying, and the like. Many even realize the corruption that comes from listening to conversation that pertains to the slandering of others, and other wasteful types of unfruitful gossip. And I truly thank God for everyone who is sober enough to stay free from these kinds of damaging communications. But if we are to understand and be in tune with God's word, then we need to put our text scripture into its proper context, and think on what is really being said by the Apostle who wrote these words, and by the holy Spirit of God that inspired him.

The Apostle Paul was actually giving a mild scolding to God's people at Corinth, because they had allowed themselves to keep regular company with people, who though they were also in the body of Christ, had erred from the doctrine of truth that had been established to them by Paul and other "able ministers of the new testament" like Apollos and Timothy. In this case, those who had erred were teaching and believing that the resurrection of the dead had already taken place, and that Christ had already returned to be with His faithful. They over-spiritualized the Gospel until they just became very religiously carnal. The Apostle Paul took great detail in trying to get the Corinthians to understand that these people were not good for them to keep company with, even though they had indeed experienced the new birth, and were continuing in a zealous religious format.

The thing that Paul understood, that the congregation at Corinth had failed to understand, was that every doctrine regarding Jesus and His gospel, is supported by some spirit; whether of God in truth, or of the adversary of the Gospel, the Devil, or Slanderer, as his name is correctly translated. Paul knew that Satan's favorite habitat is in erroneous interpretation of scripture. This is something the body of Christ today has failed to identify, and as a result has become critically weakened. As it was in the days of the prophet Hosea, so it is today: "Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land... (and) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:" (Hos. 4:1,6). It's been truly said that "birds of a feather flock together," and because the body of Christ today has been deprived of the true understanding of the word of God, and subsequently has, as a whole, erred from the true doctrine of Christ; it has been herded into 'flocking with the wrong feather.'

The worldwide Congregation of God (Spirit baptized believers) have of a long time been led into the wrong pastures by the wrong pastors.  The sheep of God have been misled about the new birth experience (1), the Father, Son, and holy Ghost (2), baptism (3), communion (4), salvation (5), prosperity (6), trials (7), and every other major point of the doctrine of Christ; and as a result are continually ministering the "corrupt communication" of erroneous teachings about Christ to one another. And the network of untrue doctrines that contradict the real understanding of these scriptural topics, comprise the "other gospel," and the "other Jesus" that the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians and the Galatians about (II Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6). I'm talking about Christianity, which is the Devil's gospel, which is a perversion of everything about the true gospel of Christ. Every teaching about the gospel of Christ, that is not what the Spirit of God is speaking, and that is  not what is consistently confirmed by the Scriptures; is of Satan, and is doing untold damage to those who receive them, as well as those who "fellowship" with those who uphold these "doctrines of devils" (I Tim. 4:1). Undoubtedly some will say that I am against unity and the love of God for making such statements. But to the contrary, I know by experience and knowledge that nothing can bring God's people into unity in the mind of Christ except for the collective understanding of God's truth among and between His people.

God's Spirit will manifest in any given situation where His people are gathered and are open enough to Him to allow Him to manifest; and the reason He will do this even in situations where there are opposing mindsets about doctrine, is because He is beckoning us to unite in the Spirit and allow ourselves to be taught by that same Spirit and led into the mind of Christ together through the truth of that Spirit (Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:34; Jn. 14:26; Jn. 16:13; Jn. 17:22; I Cor. 1:10; I Jn. 2:27). The manifestation of the love of God's Spirit in this type of situation will only last so long, until we are either led into the truth together, which will preserve and develop God's love among us; or until we finally sink into confusion and bondage together, losing the love, peace, and power that we had. And one of Satan's favorite tricks is to subtly persuade someone who is moving into the truth, to feel like it's an act of love to continue "fellowshipping" or regularly socializing with someone who refuses to move into the truth; and at the same time to be sure to stay away from anything that pertains to "points of disagreement." As I said, the Spirit of God will lead us a certain distance seeking to bring us into the mind of Christ through His truth together, but when those who are walking in the Spirit go beyond that distance, it just turns into compromising the word of God and becoming "the servants of men," being afraid of "offending" those who refuse to receive the truth (I Cor. 7:23; Gal. 1:10). In this case, what may start out as the love of God seeking unity, ends up in just being ashamed of the truth. This is what the Apostle was speaking of when he said "...I speak this to your shame" (I Cor. 15:34). Jesus described this kind of fear in this kind of circumstance in Jn. 5:44: "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?" We are going to be the servant of someone, whether unto God by "continuing in His word," thereby developing and growing in His Spirit; or unto Satan, by compromising with His spirit through erroneous "fellowship" with those who will not forsake his erroneous doctrines about Christ and His gospel (Rom. 6:16).

The fact of the matter is, that there is no good or right reason for anyone to not receive truth on a subject, and anyone who is truly seeking God and being led by the Spirit WILL receive the truth, though maybe not immediately. That is the "distance" that I spoke of in the preceding paragraph, that God's Spirit will go, in seeking to bring someone into the truth of a matter. Nevertheless, the new testament scriptures are replete with admonitions to those who would remain faithful, to not be drawn into the errors of those in the body of Christ who are not receiving wholesome truth from God that is presented to them; or those who forsake truth in favor of something false. One very good example is found in Rom. 17:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Don't misunderstand me; God wants more than anything to bring His people together; but in His mind, together means in one mind and one accord, which is the true definition of "fellowship." This is the unity that Jesus prayed that we would have, when He said to the Father; "... that they may be one, even as we are one:" In other words, it's certain that Jesus and His Father understand divine things the same way, and that is what He wants for us as well. This is what the Apostle Paul was referring to in his letter to the Romans when he said: "... That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:6). And this reality is probably most perfectly stated by the same Apostle in I Cor. 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

In closing let me just say, may God be thanked and praised wholeheartedly for allowing His blessed Spirit and love to manifest among His dear people anywhere and everywhere that it does. But may we be ever mindful of the reality that God's Spirit of truth is ALWAYS calling us into the mind of Christ together, and out of everything that is contrary to the truth of that mind. If we truly are willing to be identified with Jesus, then we will have to come to grips with the fact that as we continue in His word, we will also be partakers with "the fellowship of His sufferings" (Philip. 3:10). And those sufferings very much include the following: "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (Isa. 53:3). And it would be wise for us to remember that it was God's people who occasioned these sufferings upon Jesus, because the truth that He upheld was contrary to what they upheld as truth. May God grant us the grace and the strength to both receive His truth, and not fall away when suffering comes our way because of the truth (Mat. 13:20,21). For more detail on this subject, you may refer to our online gospel tract on The True Oneness of God, and also to our scripture link article on Continuing in The Word of God.



"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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