All those who desire to follow Christ Jesus need to be warned about a certain class of men and women: Those persons who have chosen to become like Doeg. (1 Samuel 22:6-20) Doeg is a man mentioned only briefly in Jewish history. We know little about where he came from, nor are we told what became of him. In his brief appearance (which our Creator had recorded in the Bible [2_Tim_3:16 ; 2 Peter 1:21]) Doeg's example clearly demonstrates what we should must be determined never to become.

As we read the account of Doeg, (1 Samuel 22:6-20) his actions form a mental picture illustrating at least one important Bible principle: The danger of allowing ourselves to become subservient to men. We can never worship men, even if they are men placed by God in some special position (as was King Saul in this Bible account). You can recognize those persons who have chosen to become Doegs by their unwavering allegiance to the organization of men they associate with. Doegs are obedient to their group rather than to their Bible trained conscience. It is this Doeg mentality which causes seemingly upright men and women to overlook, or even to condone and support, the abuse of their own members by the elders (or other titled leaders - Matthew 23:8-10) of their group. They sometimes support even the abuse of little children (by choosing to ignore it). Please consider the Bible's concise illustration of the bad example presented in Doeg:

Doeg lived about three thousand years ago (and about one thousand years before the birth of Jesus). He lived in the days of King Saul. Saul was the first King of the Jewish nation of Israel. (Doeg lived in the years surrounding 1117 BCE, which year marked the beginning of Saul's reign.) Christ was a Jew (and a descendant of David). Making preparation for the birth of Jesus as the Messiah of promise (Isaiah 9:6-7) was the primary reason the Jewish nation was used and protected by God. (Deuteronomy 9:4-6) Saul started his reign as a good king, but he misused God's gift of moral freedom to choose to become disobedient, and finally bad in his actions. David was a Jew who was a faithful servant of both Jehovah God and of King Saul. David respected Saul as the anointed head of God's organization. David's love for God made him zealous in his loyal service to Jehovah, so God blessed David wherever he went. (1_Samuel_18:5) Goliath was a mighty Philistine warrior who taunted Jehovah, and Saul, and all of Israel's army. David struck down and killed the pagan Goliath. (1_Samuel_17:20-51) [Goliath (and the other Philistines) worshiped false Gods. (Gods who required the burning of their firstborn, among other wicked practices. - Deuteronomy 12:31 ; 2 Kings 3:26a_&_27a)] A little later in his life, David served as one of the commanders of Saul's army. As king Saul descended into badness, he became jealous of David's success. Finally, Saul started trying to kill David. [Because Saul was Jehovah's anointed king, (1_Sam_9:15-16) David would not personally lift his hand to kill Saul. David did not, however, quietly suffer the ungodly abuse by anointed King Saul: David told Saul (shouting publicly, in the ears of everyone in hearing distance) that Jehovah would strike Saul down for his wicked abuse. (1 Samuel 24:12 ; 1 Samuel 26:8-10)] It is during this period, as Saul allowed himself to develop a wicked hatred for David, we find Doeg making his appearance. Doeg demonstrates how people can be led to perform wicked acts on the pretext of going along with God's organization. When David ran away to escape being killed by King Saul, Doeg was witness to High Priest Ahimelech providing David with showbread [with food] and with the sword of Goliath. Ahimelech apparently knew nothing of David's flight from King Saul, but was helping David because he knew David as the faithful servant of his God, and of King Saul. Later, when angry Saul voiced the opinion his servants were conspiring with David against him, Doeg was anxious to reveal he had seen High Priest Ahimelech give David the food and weapon at Nob [a city of the priests]. After summoning the high priest, as well as the other priests of Nob, and then questioning Ahimelech, Saul, in his anger, ordered the runners stationed about him to put the priests of Jehovah to death. While every single one of Saul's other servants rightly refused this unholy command, [refusing their anointed King's order at the risk of their very lives,] Doeg unhesitatingly killed a total of 85 priests. After this wicked act, Doeg devoted the city of Nob to destruction, slaughtering its inhabitants, young and old, woman and child. (1 Samuel 22:6-20)

Doeg thus made himself an everlasting example of what can go terribly wrong with being involved in religious organizations, even if that organization is one being (or having been) used by God (as was the Jewish nation of Israel at that time). Doeg rightly wanted to go along with God's organization. (Psalms 68-26) Doeg knew Saul had been anointed as king directly by Jehovah, and that Saul was thus the earthly head of God's organization. On the other hand, Doeg well knew the priests were also servants of God. Doeg should have known from God's word and teachings, that killing the priests and their families was an unimaginably bad act. If Doeg had simply compared what he was ordered to do by Saul, with what he should have known from the Bible, he would have known to refuse Saul's order; Just as the other servants of Saul knew to refuse it. Doeg was a respecter of persons, (Acts 10:34-35 ; John 12:43) however, rather than a lover of Jehovah. He could think of nothing but pleasing Saul. [Imagining his own glory in Saul's company was no doubt what blinded him.] Doeg thus provides a mental picture of how terrible it is to go along with an organization of men for the sake of protecting and supporting that organization, without any consideration for right or wrong. Such blind obedience amounts to worship of men, and is contrasted by the Bible principle about the need for us to be noble minded. (Acts 17:10 & 11) Noble minded persons follow the teachings of God found only in his word. They refuse to worship men. (Romans 6:16)

While Doegs are as diverse in their beliefs as they are in number, they have unknowingly grouped themselves by sharing four dogmas in common. (1.) They believe they are the lone beacons of truth in the world: That your salvation is dependant upon them. (Every person must, of course, believe their personal faith is based in Bible truth. That does not, however, grant them the right to judge others based on their faith. (Luke 9:49-50 ; Matthew 7:1-2) If someone asserts up is down in the name of Jesus, that person takes responsibility before God for those assertions [they take responsibility for their faith]. Each person is thus being judged by what Jesus taught: We are judged for what statements we make in Jesus's name. [John 12:48 ; Matthew 12:34 ; Matthew 15:11] The Bible is very clear about what words we should attribute to the Christ [anointed one]. If we you are not sure what we you say comes from the Bible, we you best not say that it did! The only person we have the right to judge is our-own-self: Actually doing so by what we assert Jesus taught! [James 1:23-24] Someone might say: "Oh no, it's showing love for others which judges one righteous." They can only know to show love, however, because Jesus taught them to do so. (Mark 12:28-31) Faith which is not built on Bible truth will not help the person who builds it! (Mark 12:24 ; Acts 17:11) Jesus can be said to be God's Word personified. (Revelation 19:13) Those who believe in and teach the doctrine of men are thus choosing to judge themselves: They judge themselves unfit for life by failing to build faith in the teachings of Christ for the preservation of their very lives. It is their imagined special connection with God (shared by all Doegs) which leads them to render judgment against others; that they alone spread truth. Do not be deceived by them, it is the Bible which spreads truth! Even Jesus himself spoke only what he learned from his Father. (John 7:16-17 ; John 15:15-16)) (2.) Doegs want you to fear their judgment over you. They want you to believe their rules and judgment define whether you are righteous. By this arrogance, they distract you from trying to measure yourself with the Bible. They want you to imagine pleasing them is the same as pleasing Jehovah God, or better even. (Joh_5:44) (3.) Doegs have chosen to ignore a simple and basic Bible teaching: "In every nation the one fearing Him [God] and working righteousness is acceptable to Him." (Acts 10:35 & 43 - LITV) They all fail to grasp, it is not organizations that worship God; It is individuals who worship God. (That is one reason the Law Code was done away with. Trying to enforce "group" righteousness was/is impossible - even using God's perfect Law.) Doegs try to enforce "group" worship by asserting they are the only ones serving God. (4.) And the most common trait Doegs share, and which is the focus of this discussion: They all want you to think Christianity is mystical and/or hard to understand. They want to convince you Bible truth can not be grasped by the layman; So you will be convinced you need their help in understanding the Bible. [Our effort is to expose that deceitful teaching and help you know the Bible is simple to understand, (Matthew 18:2-3) requiring only a little effort by you.] Doegs want to become your Lord: A secondary mediator between you and Christ; by asserting you must be blessed by them to gain life. Although the individuals among these diverse organizations may not realize or understand, they have all, individually, made themselves into Doegs. (Matthew 7:21-23) Rendering judgment over others defines them to be workers of lawlessness. (Matthew 7:1-5 ; Romans 2:1 ; 1 Corinthians 4:5) Christians must, of course, judge which actions are wicked, so as to avoid practicing them. (Luke 12:57) Judging certain actions as wicked is very different from judging the person wicked. We all make mistakes. The first century Christians had power of holy spirit to establish they had authority to establish Christianity out of Judaism. Faithful Christians [of these last days] do not judge other persons wicked or righteous, any more than they raise the dead and heal the sick. Modern day Christians tremble with respect, as they warn everyone who will listen that we are all judging ourselves: By how we react to Jesus's teachings. (Philippians 2:12 ; John 12:48)

The way we can be certain we are among the group [Christians] acting in harmony with Jehovah and His Christ [anointed one]; Is by considering our every action in the light of what the Bible says about it. If the Bible doesn't comment directly on some decision we need to make, it likely does so in principle. That is one of the ways the Bible is alive and exerts power. (Hebrews 4:12 - Webster's translation reads: "For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Please compare Luke 2:35, Romans 2:15-16, and John 12:47-48.) Laws can never help us know what to do in every situation that might arise, but Bible principles can. As the principles we learn come alive (become real) in us, they help us discern our own motives. They influence not only our actions, but what we love and what we hate. (Proverbs 8:13) Knowledge of the Bible helps us to accurately analyze ourselves spiritually [in our effort to become friends of Jehovah God] just as when a man looks at himself in a mirror to examine himself physically. [(James 1:23-24) ..."For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, and off he goes and immediately forgets what sort of man he is"...]

The most common marker shared in common by all Doegs, then, is their abject obeisance to the organization they are associated with they have chosen to worship. Jesus warned against such faith in men at Luke 4:25-28. (Matthew 23:27-28 ; Psalms 146:3) As individuals place their love for the lords of their organization [who are just other imperfect men] above their love for Jehovah, they define themselves Doegs. (John_12:43) They abandon trying to please God in favor of striving to gain the approval of the men they have chosen to serve. (Romans_6:16 ; Joh_5:44) The men who present themselves as leaders over all such groups always imagine they have some "special" insight or connection with God, which others do not have. They are almost always true believers [zealots]. Adolph Hitler, for example, was a Doeg. He tried to convince others (and likely believed) he was establishing the thousand year kingdom of Christ. He hated, or pretended he hated the Jews, because they killed Christ; And because he believed the Jews thought themselves a superior race. We DO NOT justify Hitler in any way! What Hitler did was terrible and wicked nearly beyond comprehension. The point being made is: Hitler was a Doeg. As with most deluded power brokers, Hitler likely achieved power because he actually believed in what he was doing. His absolute failing: He simply didn't bother to learn what Jesus really taught. (Mark 12:24) He learned and misapplied a few scriptures, selecting only the ones which served his desires. What Hitler believed was not actually rooted in the Bible, and so his effort did not last. He likely made himself responsible before God for what he did in Christ's name. Hitler provides us a fairly common example of what Doegs are capable of. Another example is the thousands of men, women, and children, who were tortured to death by the church's inquisition during the dark ages. [Some assert it was hundreds of thousands they murdered by torture. The "holy roman church" of the dark ages didn't keep very good records - for obvious reasons!] They labeled their brothers in Adam as witches, or apostates, and then murdered them because of their judgments. The only reason religious Doegs are not doing the same things today, is most governments of our day protect citizens against them. Make no mistake, however, all Doegs will do harm to others, without reservation or remorse. After all; They truly imagine they serve God! (John 16:2)

Another thing shared by all Doegs is their hatred of righteous individuals. (Proverbs 29:27 ; 1 Peter 4:4) Doegs demand faith in the teachings of their organization, while righteous persons place faith only in what the Bible teaches. Doegs then hate those who refuse to "go along" with them as they put organizational teachings above the Bible. While we absolutely must recognize this common failing among men, there is usually no reason to fight with anyone about our faith. (Proverbs 20:3 ; Proverbs 17:14) We must learn, believe, and express faith in what the Bible teaches. Then, with each and every person's own Bible knowledge comes their own responsibility as to whether they will place faith in the Bible, or in the teachings of men. Make no mistake: You can not do both! It is the exact same choice falling to each and every person alive (or who has ever lived for that matter- some of them, obviously, getting that choice by means of a future resurrection). (Romans 9:33 ; Matthew 21:42-44) We must never allow ourselves to be misguided to a worship of men, or even of angels. (Revelation 19:10)

Another tool of many Doegs is to seek to influence and control people through emotionalism. They strive to whip people into a frenzy, and to convince them that frenzied state is Christianity. Always, such tactics have the same purpose: To establish the need in "their sheep" to view them as leaders. In this case, they want to lead in evoking the emotional high. Christ's teachings, however, are clear and concise; so those who love and follow him are all moving toward having the same mind and same line of thought. (Philippians 2:1-4) Becoming a Christian is thus a logical and coherent transformation. (1 Corinthians 14:40) As Christians learn the truth, (John 17:3) it impels them to love, and then to obey, Jesus's Father. (1 John 5:3-4 ; Hebrews 5:8) Their love for God [and others] motivates them all throughout their lives. Christianity is not dependent upon emotionalism, but in making oneself noble minded through learning what Jesus taught. (Acts 17:11) [That is not to imply Christians are not emotionally involved with our Father and our Lord. We certainly are!]

May we always seek to be pleasing to our Creator. May we strive to be "noble minded" by always proving for ourselves that what we build into our faith comes directly from the Bible. May we never become Doegs, bowing before men for organizational approval; No matter how grandiose such men imagine themselves, or claim their organization to be. Most organizations get turned aside from Jesus's simple instructions that we learn and share Bible truth. Rather, they direct their efforts toward creating a celebrated name for themselves; (Genesis 11:4) by promoting their own writings as spiritual food. Remember, Jesus grew up as a Jew, and learned the truth at the feet of the Jewish scholars who taught him. (Luke_2:46-47) The Jewish nation (and it's religious leaders) had been given responsibility by God as caretakers of the Law (caretakers of the Bible as it had been completed in their day). Jesus did not, however, allow that fact to be an excuse for the hypocrisy and badness of those Jewish leaders. (Matthew 6:1-2 ; Matthew 15:7-9 ; Matthew 23:27-28) No matter what the religious leaders told him, or said about him, Jesus remained faithful to God's word. (John 17:17 ; John 8:28-29) So should must we!

Becoming or being influenced by Doegs proves a very real danger to us all. We all want to be loved and respected by others; and to believe we are part of God's "true organization." That is a natural desire which can be used against us; And so presents a danger we must be aware of and understand. (John_12:43) Whether we find ourselves members of a small country church who imagine they are the only faithful in the land; or members of a huge organization with tentacles that reach out into all the earth, the attitude of apostate groups is always the same: They all come to imagine a persons being faithful to God, and a persons having the approval of their organization, is one and the same thing. It is an insidious and unrelenting danger! You must be cautious never to be overreached by such arrogance. Your protection is simple: Remain vigilant that everything you learn comes from the Bible. You should expect others to manifest that same attitude. Anyone who imagines, or tries to convince you, they are producing spiritual food in addition to the Bible is trying to make you a Doeg. They may be sincerely ignorant, or they may be wicked clean through; but for certain they are wrong. Those who produced the true spiritual food (doing so by being inspired to write the Bible) could also raise the dead and heal the sick; as proof they had "true spiritual food" to deliver. Even a group that was used by God in the past, may have no value if they have abandoned the Bible in favor of their own doctrine (their imagined spiritual food). It seems unlikely, for example, those who joined the Jewish religious leaders in putting Jesus to death were forgiven because they could accurately assert they were going along with members of God's "true [Jewish] organization." Those who killed Jesus may have been descendants of faithful Abraham, but that was of no benefit once they made their choice to decide for themselves what was right and wrong. (Matthew 3:9) Those men and women had the same proofs, by means of the miracles performed by Jesus, as we have recorded in the Bible today. Spiritual food comes from the Bible, and only the Bible! Do not allow yourself to be misled by the organizational doctrine of any person or group. It seems unlikely Doeg was forgiven for his actions because the order to kill all the priests of Jehovah came from the King anointed by Jehovah himself. (1 Samuel 9:15-17) Can anyone really imagine those who helped Doeg (or even gave complacent support) as he killed the women and children of Nob were innocent? Does anyone imagine Jehovah was displeased with his faithful servants who refused the wicked order by anointed King Saul; Refused the order to kill the priests of God?

There is an old saying that a lie rides to it's greatest damage on the back of truth. Even if some man or group teaches 99% truth from the Bible, you must still be on guard that every single truth you build into your faith comes from the Bible. Those who teach lies may be maliciously deceitful, or they may be well meaning but sincerely in error. Their sincerity is likely no excuse for them! It certainly won't be for you! (Matthew 7:21-23) If you believe a lie, the responsibility will become yours. The reason you are responsible is because Jehovah gave us the Bible as a safeguard against being misled. (Mark 12:24) Prove yourselves noble minded! Know what the Bible says; and thus be certain you have not rested your faith on the teachings of imperfect men.

Jesus said something that helps identify those who are Doegs, and helps warn us how they get twisted in their thinking. At Luke 13:25-27 Jesus gave us the following illustration: . . .You start to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Sir, open to us.' But in answer he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.' 26 Then you will start saying, 'We ate and drank in front of you, and you taught in our broad ways.' 27 But he will speak and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Get away from me, all you workers of unrighteousness!. . . These are persons who try to get a favorable judgment from Christ: By asserting they ate and drank before him, and that they knew him personally. They state they heard his teachings in their streets. For these ones to address Christ personally in this way, they must believe within themselves they are upright. This scripture is an indication Doegs view Christianity as a sort of country club: If the leaders of their group are patting them on the back, they imagine, they surely must be upright. Their membership is for the purpose of association, or to gain a position to lord themselves over others; And they come to imagine it is being in the group that defines them to be righteous. Those who lift themselves up as judges and law givers for such groups no doubt find purpose for their life within the group. These lords among men miss the whole point: That Jesus came to provide the sacrifice for our sins. (Matthew 20:28) It is faith in Jesus that gives life, not having their approval or having our names on their membership rolls. Jesus came to abolish group worship as it existed in Judaism, and establish a personal form of worship for every single person putting faith in him as God's son. Those who worship God today worship in spirit and truth. They worship God in their spirit (their innermost being - that which is who they are) based on the truth Jesus taught. (Joh_4:19-21 & 23-26 ; Joh_17:13-23) It is our faith built on our personal knowledge of what Jesus taught that can help us.

Jesus taught us to love God and our neighbor; He also came to demonstrate how to be obedient to his Father, motivated to obedience by love. (Hebrews 5:8 ; 1 John 5:1-5) Apparently, from this illustration given by Christ about not being workers of lawlessness, even knowing Jesus in person is of no benefit if we do not personally apply his teachings. Those individuals in his illustration asserted they knew Christ and had heard his teachings. They did not, however, practice what he taught them. If they had practiced Jesus teachings, they would not have been referred to as "lawless ones" or as "workers of lawlessness." By Jesus's reference to those individuals as workers of unrighteousness, we can know they were not sincere students of his teachings. Remember: It is the unadulterated teachings of Jesus from the Bible that can protect us [you] from being workers of lawlessness. There is certainly nothing wrong with association between those who love our lord. If that association becomes the reason for the gathering however, it can lead one to become a Doeg, or lead to our supporting those who are Doegs. Draw close to those who are sincere students of God's word the Bible, without starting to pat yourself on the back thinking you are among the only ones in the earth doing so. (Luke 18:9-14 ; Luke 9:49-50) One problem we all face in joining with others who love God's word, is that most of the earth's religious organizations claim to be Bible students. If you examine for yourself, however, you will find most follow their own teachings by one method or another. They will openly assert they are Bible followers, but they have turned to written materials other than the Bible for their "spiritual food." That warning Jesus gave us at Luke 13 is paralleled in Matthew's record at 7:21-23.

We all want to be liked by others, and to have the approval of someone who will assure us we are faithful to our Creator. That desire to be approved is in large measure what gives wicked men so much power over others. The Bible is what can set you free, if you learn (and apply) what it teaches. (John 8:31-32) Others can help you to become aware of the basic Christian teaching: Having hope through faith in Christ Jesus. That is the purpose of this website, to instill a desire in you to learn the truth of the Bible. There can be great joy in an interchange of encouragement among those who love the truth. (Romans 1:11-12) As to your effort to become a mature Christian (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 ; Ephesians 4:13-15 ; 1 Corinthians 14:20) follower of Jesus, however: That will to some degree be a solitary [with regard to other humans] and personal journey. (Matthew 10:36-37) [You must grow to maturity in your own faith and personal relationship with Jehovah through faith in his Christ (anointed one). We can be helpful to each other, but no one can carry you, nor can you carry another. (Young children might, of course, receive protection for a time based on the faith of their parents.)] For an absolute certainty, no man has authority to approve, absolve, or judge you, except you yourself; by means of your own Bible trained conscience. (Romans 2:15-16 , John 12:48) Think of Abraham, David, Rahab, Lot, and other faithful men and women. Think foremost of the one who was perfectly faithful, Christ Jesus himself. (John 15:20) Most of them had no group of other men to approve and cheer them on. (Matthew 16:23) What drove them all was their love for Jehovah and their desire to please him. Their lack of concern for the approval of other men likely made some persons uncomfortable (made those uncomfortable who were Doegs, and thus concerned only about the approval of men). In many cases, those faithful to the truth (Bible knowledge) were despised by other men, simply because their unwavering faith in God made them stand out as different. (John 8:40) It is far better, though, to have Christ Jesus as friend; (John 15:15) than to have the blessings of every man and woman alive. Remember always; this is not complicated, nor is it something to be feared. As long as we remain determined to be noble minded by learning what the Bible teaches, and we refuse to allow men to direct us away from the Bible toward faith in their writings and teachings, God will protect us. Looking to the Bible as the only source of truth will free us from the danger of becoming a Doeg. (John 8:31-32)

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King David had wicked Doeg in mind when he wrote Psalm 52:

(Psalm 52: with superscription)
To the director. Maskil. Of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and proceeded to tell Saul and say to him that David had come to the house of Ahimelech.

52:1 Why do you make your boast over what is bad, O you mighty one? The loving-kindness of God is all day long. 2 Adversities your tongue schemes up, sharpened like a razor, Working deceitfully. 3 You have loved what is bad more than what is good, Falsehood more than speaking righteousness. Selah. 4 You have loved all devouring words, O you deceitful tongue. 5 God himself will also pull you down forever; He will knock you down and tear you away from [your] tent, And he will certainly root you out of the land of the living ones. Selah. 6 And the righteous ones will see [it] and will be afraid, And over him they will laugh. 7 Here is the able-bodied man that does not put God as his fortress, But that trusts in the abundance of his riches, That takes shelter in adversities by him. 8 But I shall be like a luxuriant olive tree in God's house; I do trust in the loving-kindness of God to time indefinite, even forever. 9 I will laud you to time indefinite, for you have taken action; And I shall hope in your name, because it is good, in front of your loyal ones.