Murphy Built A House

As I sit here on this snow-blanketed, January day, my mind drifts to warmer times. I long for hot sand, crashing surf, the call of seagulls, and the sight of my grandson’s chubby legs chasing them. I feel especially close to God at the beach. It reminds me that He is big, I am small, and that’s just fine with me.

It was at the beach a few summers past that I got acquainted with Murphy. I never actually met Murphy in person, but I know him all the same. I know that Murphy is an early riser. I know that Murphy is a builder, who has an eye for detail. I know that Murphy built a house.

As it’s my habit to wake early in the morning, this morning at the beach was no exception. I relish the silence and the clean swept sand of early mornings. It’s easy to see what the surf has taken away, and what gifts it has given, before the sand is full of footprints.

I sat down on the deck with my Bible and coffee, and took in the beauty of the morning. That’s when I spied it. A sand castle. I immediately headed down to the water’s edge to take a look. It was quite elaborate, with towers and windows, strong arched doors, and intricate details of shells and rocks. I knew it was Murphy’s house, because it said so right across the front.

As the day wore on, the beach began to fill with feet. More and more people passed by and would stop to admire Murphy’s house. All was perfect for a few hours, until the wind picked up, and began pushing the waves closer and closer to the castle.

Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

I know what you’re thinking. Murphy shouldn’t have built his house on the sand. Nevertheless, he did. And now, there’s a house on the sand in imminent danger of being washed away. I watched all day to see what would become of Murphy’s house, knowing that I couldn’t change the flow of the tide.

That’s when a beautiful thing began to happen. Although I never saw anyone who I assumed to be Murphy tending to his house, I did see others. People passed by all day, and when they saw a portion of the castle that was in distress, they would step in and patch it up. Over and over this happened, none of them knowing that others had labored on Murphy’s house before or after. Selfless labors of love.

Why did it matter to complete strangers that Murphy’s house was in danger? Perhaps, if Murphy hadn’t written his name on his house, they would have been able to ignore its plight. But he did, and that made him real. Murphy built a house, and his house was in trouble.

HOW MANY MURPHYS DO YOU KNOW?

How many family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances do we know who truly love God to the best of their knowledge of Him? They have the best of intentions to live their lives for Him. They have gifts and talents that they want to use for His service. They are passionate about their walk with Him. Yet, they have built their house on unstable sand because they don’t have a firm foundation of DOCTRINE and DISCIPLINE.

ARE YOU HELPING MURPHY REPAIR HIS HOUSE?

It’s so easy to shake our heads sadly and say, “They shouldn’t have built their house on the sand.” But for whatever reason, they did. Perhaps they didn’t realize they had choices of building sites. Perhaps they simply built with what they had, and where they had it. Perhaps no one ever taught them DOCTRINE. Don’t assume that they have rejected it.

Perhaps no one ever taught them doctrine. Don’t assume that they have rejected it. Click To Tweet

By doing nothing, we add to the demise of their house. If their house falls, they could become so distraught and hopeless that they won’t ever build again.

Wouldn’t it be better to follow the example of these random beachgoers and do what we can to shore up their structures. Show them where they went wrong. Help them to bring their houses up to code.

This is what Aquila and Priscilla did in the New Testament for a Jewish man named Apollos. He loved the Lord God of the Old Testament, and was serious about his walk with Him and his work for Him. He was doing all that he knew to do in teaching others the Law of Moses in the synagogue. When these two laborers heard Apollos speak in the synagogue, they took him aside and, “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:26) 

WHAT WAS THIS MORE PERFECT WAY?

Apollos had only been baptized under John the Baptist’s baptism, which was only unto repentance. He had not yet heard about baptism in Jesus’ name. Nor did he have the revelation of Jesus being the Mighty God of the Old Testament manifest in the flesh.

After his new friends took him aside and taught him the doctrines of Jesus’ name baptism and the Mighty God in Christ, Apollos went on his way teaching the Jews publicly that Jesus was the Christ. (God manifest in flesh) He also became a faithful minister of the gospel, and very beneficial to the New Testament Church, whose ministry was endorsed and valued by the Apostle Paul, himself.

The end of Apollos’ story would have been very different if Aquila and Priscilla had listened to him teach in the synagogue and sadly shaken their heads, saying, “He shouldn’t have built his house on the sand.”  Instead, they raced the tide, and patched up the breached walls of his house until he had enough knowledge and will to rebuild on The Rock of doctrinal Truth.

 

*******APPLY WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED*******

-Did someone labor to keep your spiritual house from washing away before you understood foundational doctrine?

-Who in your life can you reach out to and expound the way of God to more perfectly?

-Are you familiar with these DOCTRINES? The Oneness of God, Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, The Infilling of the Holy Ghost With the Evidence of Speaking With Other Tongues, (Acts 2:38) Holiness, The Rapture of the Church, Jesus’ Millennial Reign, The White Throne Judgment -If not, I’d love for you to ask me.

-If you’d like to LOCATE A CHURCH near you that teaches these biblical doctrines, visit UPCI.ORG.

Warm Regards, -Pat

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, share to social media, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter, and drop me an email: Pat@PATVICK.COM 

The Oneness of God: It Isn’t Just Semantics.

Years ago, when our oldest child was going into his second grade school year, we made the decision to homeschool. We had previously been very pleased with his school, but during his first grade year, we began to see quite a bit of New Age material coming home in his daily parent packets.

In the state we lived at the time, every homeschool had to have an umbrella school that they were accountable to. The only umbrella school that we knew of at the time was a trinitarian based church school.

When we approached the principle of the school about homeschooling under their umbrella, I made sure to explain to him what we believed doctrinally. He listened patiently, and then said with a shrug, “No problem. It’s just semantics.”

Honestly, I didn’t even know what the word “semantics” meant at the time. I could tell from the flippant manner in which he tossed out the word that he wasn’t appreciating the difference between our two drastically different doctrinal viewpoints.

I could have taken the approach that said, Well, if it’s not a big deal to him, then it’s not a big deal to me. After all, my son would never actually be in a classroom setting with him.

Yet, it was very important to me. I would never have wanted him or anyone to think that I agree with the trinitarian doctrine, when the Oneness of God is the foundation of knowing God. Because of this, I wrote out on a piece of paper, briefly describing my belief in the Oneness doctrine, and signing and dating it for him to put in my son’s school file.

Trinity doctrine contends that the one God exists in three separate co-equal and co-eternal persons. There is no logic in this teaching. No matter how it is softened or rationalized or explained, three co-equal and co-eternal persons means three, not one.

Oneness doctrine contends that God is a Spirit. The Holy Spirit. The Eternal Spirit of God manifest Himself to the world in the body of the man, Jesus Christ. This is the INCARNATION. That man was the son. The son is not eternal. He had a beginning. He was the only begotten of the Father. After Jesus died, was resurrected, and ascended into Heaven, the same Holy Spirit of God that dwelled in Jesus, infills Believers today as the Holy Ghost. Three manifestations/roles/offices of God. Not three separate beings or persons.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Why is it so important to understand the Oneness of God? As long as we believe in Him, love Him, and do our best to serve Him, isn’t that enough?

The first reason, I have mentioned. God’s Oneness is the foundation that He expects all other knowledge of Him to be built on. It is the first of all commandments, according to Moses’ and Jesus’ teaching. It is not our place to try to make God who we imagine Him to be. It is His prerogative to define Himself to us, not vice verse.

Secondly, just as in building a natural structure, if the foundation isn’t sure, every level that is built on it will be more and more structurally unsound. So it is with doctrine.

Where the trinity is taught, rarely are Jesus’ name baptism and the in filling of the Holy Ghost taught as a necessity to salvation. Even further removed from the unstable foundation of trinity doctrine is the subject of holiness.

On the contrary, where the Oneness of God is taught, you will almost certainly find the clear and biblical teaching of the New Birth as in Acts 2:38 -Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and a lifestyle of Holiness.

I now know that Semantics is the interpretation of language meanings. The principal was saying it didn’t matter what I believed, verses what he believed about God. That it was fine to interpret the godhead in whatever manner each of us chose to do so.

No, my friend.

All paths do not lead to the same destination. It matters what you believe about God. Click To Tweet

The Oneness of God isn’t just semantics. It is Truth.

Warm Regards, -Pat

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