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Sermons & Study Guides

Occasional Hearing Pt. 2 - (The Flocks and Companions)

James Dodson

Occasional Hearing

(The Flocks and Companions)

Occasional Hearing. (The Flocks and Companions) Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? (Song 1:7)

Question.—Who are to be accounted “companions”? Answer.—Scripture, by “thy companions” ( !), points to those possessed of a  friendly  disposition,  even  those  with  whom  one  is associated,  Song  8:13;  Ps. 45:14.  However, in this case before us, it speaks according to appearance and not reality, Matt. 22:12; 26:50.  Many make claims which are not sustained by shared concern for the truth of God.  We need to take care knowing that not all who are in the church are of the church, Rom. 9:6. The difficulties attending making proper distinction are  illustrated  by  the  words  of  Christ,  Matt.  7:15.    This warning  is  given because  there  are false  prophets  who  appear  clothed  as sheep.    Their  ulterior motives are hidden but we are assured they lack the character of true shepherds, Ezek.  34:2,  3.    Furthermore,  they  evidence  their  lack  of  faithful  disposition because  they  themselves  do  not  understand  that  whereof  they  are  called  to proclaim,   Isa.   56:11.      Nonetheless,   they   are   able   to   transform   themselves seemingly into that which they are not, 2 Cor. 11:13.   Question.—What then should be understood by “the flocks,” plural?  Answer.—The use of the plural points to the deluded followers of those who are false teachers, for Christ has only one flock, Luke 12:32.  It is for this that Christ prays, John 17:11, 21, 23.  This is professed in the Song itself, Song 6:9. The use of the plural indicates the defect in the relation.  Christ’s flock is to be perfectly joined together,  1  Cor.  1:10.    All  other  organizations,  or  associations, instead of being Christ’s one dove, are ecclesiastical harlots, 1 Cor. 6:15-17.  These are, by definition, sectarian organizations that deny they are united to Christ by marriage covenant, for incorporation with Christ the head is to be anointed with the same Spirit with which the spiritual body is anointed, cf. Jer. 50:5.  They are all,  except  for  this  one  dove,  divisions  and  offenses  contrary  to  the  doctrine  the true  church  has  learned,  Rom.  16:17.    Therefore,  if  we  are  unconnected  with them, we ought to avoid them for the very reasons the apostle notes, Rom. 16:18.  If we are connected with them, we are under strictest command to separate from them, 1 Tim. 6:3-5.  We must do this if we would have God for our Father, 2 Cor. 6:17,  18.    If  you  refuse  to  remain  separate,  you  should  expect  that  God  will  be your adversary, 2 Cor. 6:14-16. Furthermore, all who refuse to acknowledge that there is only one church, and that there can never be more, (i.e., all who believe that denominationalism is a legitimate phenomenon), are separatists and sectarians in heart and fall under
condemnation, Jer. 6:28-30.  Jude warns against being found amongst such, Jude 17-19.     Though  we  admit  that  there may  be  Christians  in  these  anti-christian organizations, they are not Christians with whom we can commune ecclesiastically, Amos  3:3.    We  know  that  the  day  shall  come  when  this  disorder  will  be dispelled,  Isa.  52:8.    Until  that  day,  we  court  disaster refusing  to  heed  the warnings of Scripture, 1 Cor. 3:16, 17. Question.—Is this the only safe course? Answer.—Yes. Prov. 19:27.  This is the very principle of Solomon, speaking by the Holy Spirit.  The protection of the faithful from the insidious influence of error is one  reason  we  make  this  argument.    It  is  never  wise  to  expose  ourselves  to  the danger  of  being  indoctrinated  in  any  unscriptural  error,  or  to  be  misled  by  the advocacy  of  wrong  practices,  Mark  4:24.    It  may  be  that  some  clad  in  asbestos may be able to take fire into his bosom but it is never safe for any to presume to do so and remain unharmed, Prov. 6:27, 28. We  must  seek  to  be  fed  with  knowledge  and  understanding,  Jer.  3:15.  Hearing  without  understanding  is  hardly  better  than  not  hearing  at  all,  Matt. 13:19.  And we only get understanding by following in the footsteps of the flock, Song 1:8.