FOUNDATIONS ARE DESTROYED
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
(Psalm 11:3 NASB)
There is a stern warning extended to the Body of Messiah as we approach the Second Appearance of Messiah – everything that can be shaken will be shaken before Messiah will establish His eternal Kingdom on earth, (Heb 12:25-29). A time of unprecedented testing of our faith will occur soon. Our enemy, the dragon of old (Satan), knows that his time is running out on earth, and with every skill and full force, he will persecute the faithful, (Rev 12:12-13; 12:17). Those who will overcome the evil of this day, will not overcome by good works, or keeping to traditions, or by any fleshly effort, or even by befriending the world, the only victory will be, ‘by the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony;’ in fact, this passages states, that the foundation of these faithful witnesses stands so firm, ‘they will not love their life even to death,’ (Rev 12:11).
Can we truly testify to this simple statement – that we are willing to lay down our lives for the message of the gospel! To be honest, I am greatly distressed. Recent encounters with a wide range of Believers from different denominations, showed evidence of so many who are confused, not even able to define the core foundation of their faith. It seems, what was ‘once for all delivered’ to the apostles and disciples of the early Body (Jude 1:3), became severely entangled by ‘denominational doctrines,’ drawing countless Believers away from the ‘essential’ and ‘simple’ truth of the gospel.
The Hebrew author experienced the same concern. The early Jewish Believers stood on the brink of major persecution in the destruction of the Temple, 70 AD, (Heb 10:35-39). As he addressed these fearful followers of the gospel, who were acutely aware of a ‘great distress’ approaching them, he reminded them how Almighty God spoke directly through His Son (Heb 1:1-14), saying, ‘For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away,’ (Heb 2:1).
The central theme of this phenomenal epistle was the danger that these Believers would ‘compromise’ the gospel, and fall away from the foundation of their faith in Messiah, (Heb 2:1-4; Heb 3:12-14; Heb 4:1-3; Heb 10:35-39; Heb 12:15-17). The author therefore reminded these fearful men and woman to first of all recall the foundation of their faith in Messiah; emphatically stating the core doctrines established in, as laid down by Messiah, ‘Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of instruction about washings (baptisms), and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment,’ (Heb 6:1-2). [Insertion added by the author, for the Greek word for washings is ‘baptismos,’ which is translated as baptism.]
It is clear from this very statement, that the early church did not have ‘denominational’ teachings differing on these basic principles of what was laid down primarily by the teachings of Messiah on, repentance, faith, baptisms (water baptism and baptism in the Spirit), laying on of hands, the resurrection, and Judgment Day – these were core issues which kept the Body on a very firm FOUNDATION. In fact, it seems that the author expected that there would be no dispute, whatsoever, over this foundation.
Furthermore, the apostle Paul states emphatically, that ‘no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,’ (1 Cor 3:11). If the foundation laid by Messiah is unalterable, we should heed the warning of the Hebrew author to ‘pay much closer attention to what we have heard,’ for ‘in the last days (God) has spoken to us in His Son,’ (Heb 1:1-2). [Insertion added by the author.]
Truly, our stability is not a matter of ‘denomination,’ but in essence, it is a matter of FOUNDATION, and sadly, the foundation is being shaken.