"DOUBTS!"--And How to Handle 'Em!--MO July 2, 1977 DFO NO.604
--Is the Old Saying True?: "When in Doubt, Don't!"--?
Copyrighted October 1977 by the Children of God
1. I REMEMBER A STORY ABOUT THE FAMOUS SINGING EVANGELIST MORDECAI HAM who worked with Dwight L. Moody for awhile and later won Billy Graham to the Lord. He smoked big fat cigars but he said that everytime he got down to pray, "That big cigar would come up between me and God as big as a telephone pole! It condemned me and was coming between me and the Lord because I felt guilty about smoking."--So he quit smoking!
2. SEE, "WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN." (Rom.14:23.) "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." (Rom.14:22.) But Ham had a guilty conscience about the cigar, since he thought it was bad.
3. HE SAID HE KNEW IT WASN'T MERELY THE NICOTINE in the cigar but it was just because it was something he hadn't yielded to the Lord, so the Devil used it to condemn him. (Maria: But maybe the Lord was convicting him too because of the bad sample it was to others.) Yes, possibly.
4. THE DEVIL IS GOD'S PROSECUTOR and quite frequently he condemns you for things you do, sometimes justly, sometimes unjustly. Now there's a difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the accusations of the Enemy. You're not convicted of a sin until the judge, God, has made a decision. But frequently the Enemy will come and accuse you of sins or accuse you of some things which aren't even sins and condemn you for it. 1John 3:21 says:
5. "BELOVED, IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE (OR FAITH) TOWARD GOD." In other words, if you have such strong faith in the Spirit and in the Word that you know what you're doing is right, and you feel convinced in your own heart that what you're doing is the right thing because of the Word and the Holy Spirit, you can do things that some other Christians can't even do, that they would feel condemned about doing!
6. I KNEW A MAN WHO SAID HE COULDN'T BE A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE HE HAD TO WORK ON SUNDAY. See, he was being condemned by his own ignorance, because he didn't know that working on Sunday was no sin! Because the church had taught him the lie all his life that working on Sunday was a sin, that Sunday was the Sabbath! Well, it's not even the Sabbath!
7. I TRIED TO DISILLUSION HIM ON IT, THAT SUNDAY WAS NOT THE SABBATH and you could work on Sunday or the Sabbath, but he wouldn't listen. He was wrong all the way around! In the first place, Sunday isn't even the Sabbath, and in the second place, we don't have to observe the Sabbath anymore! So it was no sin for him to work on Sunday, and I tried to convince him of that.
8. BUT BECAUSE OF HIS IGNORANCE OF THE WORD HIS OWN HEART AND CONSCIENCE CONDEMNED HIM. Because the churches had taught him that, he thought it was wrong, so it was wrong, for him, it was a sin for him! If you're doing something you think is wrong, then it is wrong for you, it is a sin for you. He thought it was wrong, so it was a sin for him. Because he was condemned in his own heart that it was wrong, he couldn't have the faith for it.
9. IT WAS PROBABLY WRONG FOR HAM TO SMOKE IN PUBLIC because he was a very influential man, Moody's first assistant evangelist, so it probably did cause some weaker brethren to question it or stumble. (Maria: Maybe he could have done it in private.)
10. THE SCRIPTURE ON IT IS VERY CLEAR in Romans 14: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things, another who is weak eateth herbs." (Rom.14:1-2.)
11. THAT OUGHT TO BE A GOOD ONE FOR YOUR HERB DIET, Honey! The difference between you and me is, I just have the faith that God's going to take care of me no matter what I have to eat, so I eat the best I can. So I don't eat much herbs and I don't pop many vitamin pills and all that. But maybe you're a little weak along that line because you are a little weak in health.
12. YOU'RE A LITTLE WEAK IN FAITH for your health, so you feel and believe you really do have to take those things, in which case you do, because it encourages your faith! And you would not have the faith for your health if you didn't. See that's the way your faith runs.
13. PEOPLE HAVE TO OPERATE THE WAY THEIR FAITH GOES. They have to follow their faith, and they cannot operate outside of the limitations of their faith or they go beyond their faith for things they don't have faith for, and then to them it is sin. And that's what He says further down in this Chapter:
14. "I AM PERSUADED BY THE LORD JESUS THAT THERE IS NOTHING UNCLEAN OF ITSELF."--Boy there's a Scripture for you! Are we going to take that all the way, that nothing is unclean of itself to include also FFing and so on, going to bed with these sinners?
15. "BUT TO HIM THAT ESTEEMETH ANYTHING TO BE UNCLEAN, TO HIM IT IS UNCLEAN!"--14th verse. Remember this, Romans 14:14, and watch out! Because if you think it's wrong, then to you it is wrong, and you better not do it! That's why you need the Word to clarify some of these points, to prove that some of these things are right.
16. IF SOME GUY GOES TO BED WITH YOU AND HE THINKS HE'S DOING THE WRONG THING, THEN HE MIGHT STUMBLE. You have got to prove to him by the Word that it's not a sin, and it is all right because it's in love, that whatsoever is love is law, and that what's done in love is not unlawful according to the Word. But he says later on here:
17. "WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN"--if you haven't got the faith for it, then it is a sin for you, if you don't believe properly. And here's another good Scripture on FFing and "all things":
18. "FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT MEAT AND DRINK"--IT'S NOT FLESHLY NOR EARTHLY. It has very little to do really with what your flesh does or doesn't do or what you drink or don't drink, etc., but it's "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost"--(Rom.14:17)--no matter what little things you eat or drink or do.
19. BUT, "FOR MEAT DESTROY NOT THE WORK OF GOD. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence."--to others, that is. (Rom.14:20.)--In other words, it may be perfectly all right for you to do a certain thing because you have the faith for it and you know it's Scriptural and so on. But if somebody else who thinks it's wrong sees you do it and you cause him to stumble, then that's bad.
20. "IT IS GOOD NEITHER TO EAT FLESH NOR TO DRINK WINE NOR ANY THING WHEREBY THY BROTHER STUMBLETH or is offended or is made weak." (Rom.14:21.)--In other words, even though it's right for you it can be wrong for him because he hasn't got the faith for it, and therefore he can think that it's wrong for you, and if he sees you do it, you could cause him to stumble. So it's a two-way street and almost a vicious cycle.
21. MANY THINGS THAT WE HAVE THE SCRIPTURAL LAWFUL FREEDOM TO DO WE DON'T PUBLICISE TO THE WORLD because they wouldn't understand it, especially churchy narrow-minded Christians. These are perfectly all right for us as we have the faith for them because we know they're Scriptural, but we don't advertise them, because weaker churchy brethren wouldn't understand and couldn't take it.
22. "HAST THOU FAITH? HAVE IT TO THYSELF BEFORE GOD." (Rom.14:22.)--In other words, if it's something that might cause your brother to stumble, then keep it private just between you and the Lord. "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."--It'll make you happier if you're not doing things which you feel condemned about, or about which you feel guilty or have a guilt complex, things that you're not sure are right. In fact, if you're afraid maybe it's wrong, then it is wrong for you!
23. BUT EVERY CHRISTIAN ON EARTH CANNOT FORGO EVERY LITTLE QUESTIONABLE PLEASURE THAT OTHER WEAK SISTERS CONDEMN AND ACCUSE YOU FOR, OR YOU COULDN'T DO ANYTHING! IT'S JUST LIKE THE OLD STORY ABOUT THE MAN AND THE BOY AND THE DONKEY: When they were both riding on the donkey people condemned them for being so cruel to the poor little donkey to make it carry them both. So he made his little boy get off, but then they said, "Oh, look how cruel you are, making your little boy walk!" So the man got off himself and put the little boy on the donkey, but then they said, "Oh, look how cruel that little boy is to let his poor old father walk!"--So then they both got off and walked, but people said, "Look how ridiculous they are! They've got a donkey, but they're both walking!" Finally, as the story goes, they both wound up carrying the donkey!
24. SO YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY IN EVERYTHING. You can please some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can't please everybody all the time! So if you're going to forgo every little thing which some people call sin or vice just because they haven't got the faith for it, you won't do anything!
25. IT MAKES IT PRETTY CLEAR IN THIS PASSAGE, IF YOU HAVE FAITH FOR IT BETWEEN THEE AND GOD, IN OTHER WORDS IN PRIVATE IT'S PERFECTLY ALL RIGHT FOR YOU. But it may be a bad testimony outside in public for the weaker brethren--they may not have the faith for it and stumble over you. (Maria: But if it's something you know you're supposed to do, you can't let it always bother you even though it's going to sometimes stumble some.)
26. IF IT'S A LITTLE THING like what kind of meat you eat or wine you drink, this is a small thing you can easily forego. But some people even condemn us for even going to those clubs to witness to people, much less go to bed with them! They say, "Why are you down here! You shouldn't be in a place like this!"
27. SO SHOULD WE STOP FF'ING JUST BECAUSE SOME OTHERS DOUBT THAT IT'S RIGHT? If we stopped everything some people have doubts about, we couldn't do anything! If they doubt it, they shouldn't do it, but we have to carry on!
28. THE BEST CURE OF DOUBTS IS THE WORD! "Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God!" (Rom.10:17.)--And faith is the opposite of doubt! Read the Bible and the Letters--they should cure any doubts you have--if you're willing to receive the truth and really want to know!
29. OF COURSE IF YOUR MIND IS ALREADY MADE UP AND YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE FACTS, THERE'S NOT MUCH HOPE FOR YOU! But if you really want to know, the Lord, His Word and the Letters will show you!--Read them prayerfully and ask God to guide you!--He never fails! He'll always answer the hungry heart! God bless you! We love you!--And hope you'll find faith!
30. SO WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T--BUT WHEN IN FAITH, DO!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family