Why the Church Needs Apostles Today
Lesson 6 of 14
What is doctrinal cleansing? When we are enlightened by truth and Satan’s lie is exposed and we then choose to embrace the truth, we are separating ourselves from the lie. What is happening is that the soul is being cleansed. Satan defiled the soul with his false knowledge and God is using truth, as soap, to remove false knowledge from the soul. This is doctrinal cleansing.
Why is doctrinal cleansing necessary? When error is mixed with truth it is like mixing what Satan says with what God says and thinking that you can remain pure and please God some other way.
It is not God’s will to mix error with truth. God wants us to learn His truth to separate ourselves from the error. There is no other way to please God.
This idea of truth being pure from error is perhaps the most difficult thing for a person to grasp. Satan acculturated man to believe that many truths can please God. But Jesus was very clear on this point. He taught that the presence of error changes truth just like leaven changes bread. Jesus used the word “leaven” to point out to us that error mixed with truth is not pleasing to God. False doctrine is the mixture of truth with error.
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Jesus was not warning about the bakery goods of the Pharisees, but their doctrine. They were mixing the philosophy of man, the tradition of man, and the thinking of man into truth. This doctrine, mixed with truth affected truth, making what they believed to be a lie and not pleasing to God.
The Spirit of the Lord carried this understanding over into the first century church when writing through Paul, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6).
We understand that God is bringing to the attention of the current Christian culture that the tradition of man has crept into the church. Meaning, the doctrine that is embraced is leavened with the lies of Satan. This is what God means when He says that the knowledge of the world is in the church.
What I want us to understand is that when God challenges the church for change, His rebuke is not a criticism. Even as Jesus said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent,” (Revelation 3:19).
Never forget: The job of apostles today is to remove leaven from Christ’s truth by laying the original (unleavened) foundation of truth within the heart of each believer.
Doctrinal Cleansing Prepares You for the Priesthood
Moses represented church government in the First Covenant. Moses was an individual selected by God to preserve knowledge and sanctify the people. This is why the Lord spoke to Moses to cleanse the Levites. God’s purpose in cleansing the Levites was to prepare them to serve Him as priests:
"And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them. Thus shall you do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean."
The Levites had to be cleansed before they could serve God in their priesthood. So then, after they were cleansed by spiritual government, the Levites functioned in their priesthood, serving God by the pattern, which God showed Moses: (Hebrews.8:5), “Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
Moses was a type and shadow of Christ and by this example we understand the need for separation and cleansing through God’s governmental head. Apostles (as Moses) are individuals selected by God to preserve the knowledge of Christ and sanctify the people for their priestly service to God at the altar of Jesus Christ. Today, all believers are called “priests” because they do priestly service to the Lord through the spiritual sacrifices of their faith (1 Peter 2:5)(1 Peter 2:9).
Moses was the knowledge steward of the Old Covenant; apostles are the knowledge stewards of the New Covenant. Just as the Levites needed to first be cleansed by Moses before they could function in their priesthood, so must believers also be first prepared in truth before they can function in their priesthood to serve God through Jesus Christ.
If you have never heard about the believer’s priesthood, you are not alone. Satan, knowing how important your priesthood is to God, hid this knowledge from the church and gave the church a priesthood of the flesh to observe. What this means is that instead of faith working with the eternal knowledge of Jesus Christ, faith was working with the temporal knowledge of this world.
The priesthood is given as a gift to the church, that as we serve God at the altar of Christ, He might sustain us, nurture us, and fellowship with us. Before you can function in your priesthood, you need to be properly prepared in truth.
Truth cleanses: Jesus is returning the proper church government and to the purity of the faith. Moses used water to cleanse the Levite priests, but Jesus uses truth to cleanse believers, called to be priests of the Second Covenant. As He said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” (John 15:3).