although I read my bible daily when I was young, I am ill equipped at this point to quote scripture with the likes of NWVIEW or JJ so I’m not sure how smart it is to post that here!
but I am curious what responses would be
Thank you for your two posts. It is quite simple, as you know, that the Church is the people who have received Christ within. It is truly amazing that the believers think the building is the Church. When pastor xyz says "welcome to our church for this is the House of God", he clearly is in the old testament and actually an enemy of the finished Work of the Cross. BLIND and unteachable. Why do the elders, within the local steeple houses, allow this false doctrine, and continued misunderstanding of the Word of God to continue?? The people sitting on their pews actually believe that they are laymen and the one who spent some time in a divided bible college is clergy. Well, that worked just great in the old covenant, that priestcraft being challenged by Jesus, while their temple was torn down and many Christians want to help them rebuild the 3rd. temple again. Foolishness! When will the Christians finally understand, that we are in the "Priesthood of all believers", have entered into the New Covenant in His Blood, departing from the blinded priestcraft of old? The believer is the "HOUSE OF GOD"!
George said it well:
George Fox at a steeple-house in 1648
I saw the people gathered together in the yard. The old priest would have had me go into the steeple-house. I said, ‘no, it was no matter.’ But it was strange to the people that I would not go into what they called the house of God. I stood up in the steeple-house yard, and declared to the people that I came not to hold up their idol temples, nor their priests, nor their tithes, nor their augmentations, nor their priests’ wages, nor their Jewish and heathenish ceremonies and traditions, (for I denied all these); and I told them, that piece of ground was no more holy than another piece of ground. I showed them; that the apostles going into the Jews’ synagogues and temples, which God had commanded, was to bring people away from that temple, and those synagogues, and from the offerings, tithes, and covetous priests of that time. That those who came to be convinced of the truth, converted to it, and believed in Jesus Christ, whom the apostles preached, met together in dwelling houses; and that all who preach Christ, the word of life, ought to preach freely, as the apostles did, and as he commanded.
So I was sent of the Lord God of heaven and earth to preach freely, and to bring people off from these outward temples made with hands, which God dwells not in; that they might know their bodies to become the temples of God and of Christ; and to draw people off from all their superstitious ceremonies, Jewish and heathenish customs, traditions, and doctrines of men; and from all the world’s hired teachers, that take tithes, and great wages, preaching for hire, and divining for money; whom God and Christ never sent, as themselves confess, when they say, they never heard God’s nor Christ’s voice.
I exhorted the people to come off from all these things, directing them to the spirit and grace of God in themselves, and to the light of Jesus in their own hearts; that they might come to know Christ, their free teacher, to bring them salvation, and to open the scriptures to them. Thus the Lord gave me a good opportunity to open things largely to them. All was quiet, and many were convinced; blessed be the Lord. -George Fox
I believe that many have read this account of George and still cannot understand it or even believe that he was sent by the Lord, to warn the local steeple houses, in the 1600's. How long will the pew sitter sit in silence? How long will they give up their new birth rights in Christ? How long will they prop up the detoured 45000 denominations, all teaching differing views of the scriptures? How long will the believers drop their tithe checks into a system that has robbed them of their callings?
Oh well, the day will come, when it will be too late and the encampment of the 5 foolish virgins will be overrun with formerly neutralized believers and the weeping will be great. jmo Jim
“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
Revelation 1:6 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
1 Peter 2:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
YEP, THEY READ THEIR BIBLES AND IGNORE THE WORD OF GOD!
When I read that quote from George Fox. I find the quote very easy to relate to and actually, it leads to a mental visualization of the scene for me.
i find it to not only ring true, but both mentally and spiritually aesthetic, for lack of a more precise word.
if I remember correctly, someone on TFMR has spoke of the “judaisation” of the church ( I think I may have misspelled?)
I am not sure who that was, tbh
I don’t want to burden you with any obligation
but would you have any comments on that?
because spelling errors aside, if that term means what I think it means...
well, I guess I’m just wondering if that’s something you have an opinion on
I am not actually sure if it’s a topic you wild even like to broach
i don’t remember who brought up that term tbh
The letters to the Romans and to the Galatians are often studied together because they have the same theme - salvation from sin is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not through the Law of Moses (Romans 1:16,17; 3:21,22). There were false teachers called Judaizers in the early church. Judaizers were Jews who believed in Jesus as the Christ. However, they refused to accept the truth that the New Testament had replaced the Old as the law and guide for God’s people. They taught that Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved.
When Judaizers came to Antioch, Paul and Barnabas stood against their false teaching. Since these false teachers had come from Jerusalem, and also claimed the church in Jerusalem believed as they did, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to discuss the matter. They met with the inspired apostles and elders who agreed with them that Gentiles were justified by faith without keeping the Law of Moses. These inspired men wrote a letter to the churches stating this (Acts 15).
Judaizers continued to trouble the Lord’s church for many years. Because Paul strongly opposed them, they attacked him. They denied he was really an apostle. They tried to destroy his influence so they could destroy the Gospel he preached (1 Corinthians 9:1-4; 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:6; Galatians 1:6-2:21).
The book of Romans was written by Paul to the church in Rome. It was written about A.D. 57 while Paul was in Corinth. He was staying in the home of Gaius, a Christian he had baptized with his own hands (Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14). Paul had often planned to visit the church in Rome, but up to this time, he had not been able to do so (Romans 1:10-13). He planned to go on from Rome to Spain to preach the Gospel. He hoped the church in Rome would assist him in this work (Romans 15:23,24).
The church in Rome had been in existence for some time when Paul wrote to them. No mention is made of Peter or of any of the other apostles being in Rome. We are not told how the church in Rome was started or by whom. We do know Jews from Rome were in Jerusalem on Pentecost. They heard Peter preach the first Gospel sermon (Acts 2:10). It is possible some of them became Christians and carried the Gospel back to Rome. Paul commended the church at Rome because their "faith was spoken of throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8).
The letter to the Romans teaches that righteousness (justification) is only possible through the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16,17). The key to understanding Romans is the phrase "for obedience to the faith" which is found at the beginning and at the end of the book (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Sinners cannot be saved by works of their own devising. Neither can they be saved by the law of Moses. They can only be saved by loving, trusting obedience to the system of faith which is the Gospel of Christ.
On Paul’s first missionary journey, he and Barnabas preached in several cities of Galatia. They established churches in Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. They visited these churches on their return journey and appointed elders in each of them (Acts 13:1-14:23). Paul and Silas visited these same churches at the beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-6). Timothy joined them when they came to Lystra. They delivered the letter to the churches from the elders and apostles at Jerusalem. In spite of this, Judaizers came among the churches and spread their false teaching. Many of the Christians were led astray by them.
At the time Paul learned of the divisive work of the Judaizers in Galatia, he was unable to visit them. He wrote to warn them the Judaizers were teaching a different Gospel which would cause them to be lost (Galatians 1:6-9). The date of Paul’s writing is not known for certain. Probably Galatians was written from Greece about 55 or 56 A.D. Paul identifies himself as the author (Galatians 1:1). The first two chapters of the book deal mainly with Paul’s life as a Christian. The style of writing is so clearly that of Paul that very few have ever denied he is the author.
In the first two chapters, Paul tells how he was chosen by God to be an apostle (Galatians 1:15-17). Further, he states the Gospel he preached was not received from man. It was revealed directly to him by Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). After he had preached this Gospel for three years, Paul went to Jerusalem where he visited Peter and James, the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:18,19). Fourteen years later, Paul, Barnabas and Titus went to Jerusalem to discuss the question of circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses. James, John, Peter and other leaders in the church gave them the right hand of fellowship. This showed they approved of Paul’s work and the Gospel he preached (Galatians 2:1-10).
In the letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul argued that being circumcised in the flesh had nothing to do with salvation (Galatians 5:6). He showed that salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ was promised to Abraham long before the Law of Moses was given. Therefore, keeping the Law had nothing to do with man’s salvation (Galatians 3:15-18). "What purpose then does the Law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made" (Galatians 3:19). The Law of Moses was a temporary covenant. It was added because of sin. It lasted until Christ came and His system of faith was revealed. When the Law had fulfilled its purpose, it was taken out of the way (Galatians 3:22-25; Colossians 2:14).
Some today, like the Judaizers of Paul’s day, tell us we must keep the Law of Moses to be saved. Those who leave the Gospel of Christ for the Law have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 3:12). No one can be justified by keeping the Law or any part of it such as offering animal sacrifices, keeping Jewish feast days, burning incense, using instrumental music in worship, keeping the sabbath, etc. Salvation is in Jesus Christ for all upon one basis - obedience to the faith of Christ!
Yes, the Judaizers were false teachers, refused to follow the New Covenant and wanted to live in the old/pre-Cross era of the laws of Moses. Really, not much has changed, for many good people are stuck in steeple houses, seeking their Jewish roots (they do not have any Jewish roots), and really have become enemies of the New Covenant, refusing to enter into the finished work of Christ, on the Cross. (More later) (If a Christian believes that he must keep the law of Moses to be saved, he has be enslaved by the enemies of the Cross) jmo Jim
Oh how I remember well, coming into the steeple house, being given many Jewish Laws from Moses, breaking one of them sending me to hell, and living in bondage until the day that Christ came within. The steeple house was designed after the old Jewish temple of old, having been torn down, but now rebuilt by blinded Judaizers in robes and turned around collars. Yep, we were the outer court where the common people sat on pews. Then, just a bit further in, the professional priests had their area and we could not occupy, being closed off by an alter with a gate. Then further on, the place where God Himself lodged. If you go there, you may be struck DEAD.
Jesus eliminated all of this structure, including the buildings, the animal sacrifices, the professional priestcraft, and He Himself even departed from the Holy of Holies, never to return. Now, in the N.T., He lives within the people who are His Church. So when we sit in the outer area, allowing a professional priestcraft to minister, while we deny our own callings to be priests unto God, we have been Judaized. jmo Jim More later
That’s a lot to take in. I’ll read it again a couple of times.
i have heard Catholics tell me that Paul was the “rock” that the Catholic Church was built upon.
Unless I’m mistaken, it sounds like you may disagree
for the record, I am not, nor have I ever been catholic although I have attended mass at various cathedrals (very infrequently) for the architecture, and for the historical connection to the past that I would feel in those places
looking forward to more later NWVIEW
Some may think I am after the RCC, however that is not on my radar screen. The mess has been here from about 300 a.d., then the failed reformation of the 1500's helped to divide us into thousands of views, and much of what was to be reformed did nothing.
I was raised in the RCC, alter boy, and my entire Polish family (except myself), remained RCCers until they died, except for my sister who became an atheist. (more later)
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Tim. 2)
The early Church was established by the Lord and the Lord is building His Church. Not being satisfied with the foundation set upon the apostles, the believers began to turn their backs on the Lord. The true Church does not evolve into anything other that that which was given by the Lord. False prophets and false teachers have sprung forth like a weed patch.
The pew sitters have refused to actually study Church History and even rewrite their history of their divided systems of men. We could write many pages about: The many false prosperity gospel prophets, or David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, or Jim Jones, or The Unification Church, or Rajneeshees, or prophet Muhammad and his beginnings, or Aimee Semple McPherson and her involvement in 4-Square, or the pope being the vicar of Christ on earth, or prophet Joseph Smith with his mummies of Nauvoo, or Joel Osteen, or the Jehovah's Witness founder Charles Russell, or a thousand other names.
One thing that all of them have in common is that they have left the message given to the early Church, some creating their own "holy book", and seated themselves in the seat of Moses. Even some of the better ones have started their own steeple house systems in violation of the Word of God.
I have stated before, when I drive to town, there is a place where there are 4 different steeple houses within a short space and all of them think they are correct. If you want to see someone thrown out of a stained glass window, invite me to your steeple house on Sunday morning, let me do the message. I will only read from the New Covenant and simply say "I believe ever word of this, being from the Lord". That is when the trouble starts and now you may understand why we are outcasts from the blinded systems of men. jmo Jim
If we ask the local assemblies: "how many of you have read Martin Luther's famous 95 theses, was it complete, did it stop the insanity in the local steeple houses, was it a true reforming?"
Here again, is our chance to actually see what he nailed on the steeple house door, long ago. We would like to nail a better list. jmo Jim
and I am only 5 minutes into his view. Jim
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev. 3)
decades ago. Yep, we were in the divided steeple house systems of blinded men. We could see the folly from the beginning. They said read your bibles and we did and noticed that the system did not follow the scriptures, not even close. The system structure was anti-bible, the clergy/layman division was anti-bible, the funds generated (tithes) were misused and the needed stayed needy. The sin in the camp was not confronted for the fear of losing revenue. The elders were yes men, for the blinded pastors, while the people were rendered ineffective in their callings.
We were young in those days and the old men would say to me: "Jim, the system is a mess, however, the way to fix it iis to join and get involved, redirecting them back to the Word of God." I thought "O.K., they are older and more wise and I will work from within". THEY WE IN ERROR! Once you bring in the Word of God, you become their enemy, as I am today.
I have listed may works of old, over the last few years, hoping that you would study and seek out these issues for yourselves. We walked away decades ago, entered into that Field which is White unto Harvest and seeing the blessings from the Spirit of Christ.
Oh how we need a WalkAway movement, coming to repentance, and even going down into the waters of baptism, never ever returning to the systems that Satan has entered long ago. Yes, millions of wonderful people, caught up into an altered understanding of Christ and His Kingdom. Jim
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Yes, ye must be born again. Joining a system does not give us a new spirit and without repentance, will will sit in judgment. jmo Jim
place your fiat funds, in the bank, and if a "bail-in" occurs, you will suffer loss.
If you cash out your 401-k, buy cryptos and the electricity is cut off, you may suffer loss.
If you join a political party, working with them for the season, and they fail to receive the most votes, you may suffer loss.
If you place your funds into an expensive home, at the top of the market (today), and a real estate crash occurs, you may suffer loss.
If you stack P.M.'s, paying top prices, you may suffer loss.
If you join a steeple house system of men, go through their programs, and finally stand before the Lord of Heaven and earth, and have not come to true repentance, having received Christ within, you have lost EVERYTHING, including fiat/real estate/ and even your station upon a pew.
1 John 5:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
a Witness of our foolishness:
Ephesians 4 King James Version (KJV)
4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
THERE IS 'ONE' BODY, yes there is only "One Body" and that is His Body, and we are the Church. Why expose our rebellion, having "divided" His Church into thousands of man made systems? Every one of these systems of men have departed from the instructions given to the Church, His called out people. There is no such thing as a white church, nor a black church.
In my decades of travel into Africa, I would be an invited speaker in black steeple houses, colored steeple houses and even in two white divided steeple houses in RSA. The black steeple houses do not welcome the colored to attend and the two white tribes of RSA do no associate with each other. This is just the beginning of the judgment that will be before us in that day.
It is bad enough that they throw out and true prophets of God and bring in their favorite blinded clergy. There is little to no love between the denominations who have long ago departed from the Word. Did we really ever believe that divisions and the common dislike of other believers was a ticket into heaven, a party spirit?
The next time, after leaving the folly of divisions, after repenting of ever leaving the instructions given to the Church, and someone asks: "Where do you go to church", we could say, "WE ARE THE CHURCH, AND EVERY PERSON WHO HAS RECEIVED CHRIST WITHIN, BEING THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST, IS THE CHURCH, AND THEREFORE, I'AM PART THE THE CHURCH. " If your system has a label, a government controlled banking account, a tax exemption, a leader because of going to bible college, and divided by race/gender/color or anything else, it is time to repent.
YES THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT IS AT THE DOORWAY. jmo Jim
1 Cor. 1:
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
So, they say, "we are a bible believing church", and one must ask, "what bible do you read?"
Did you ever hear of the resurrection of Lura Johnson (Grubb) on Aug. 20th, 1932? I had not heard of her until about 25 years ago. A well known Christian author was staying with our home Church grouping and said he knew her and had passed out hundreds of her books in the '50's. I bought a used copy called "Living to tell of Death by Lura Johnson Grubb", (1947).
The entire country was stirred over the news paper accounts of her rising from the dead, at her funeral, right out of her coffin. On page 50, her picture and this quote: "Binghamton, New York, Aug. 20th or 21st., 1932. Lura Johnson, 17-year-old Water Valley, Miss., girl, is being hailed by many throughout her state as a "miracle girl" following a strange tale of her ability to effect cures. She "died" recently after a year's illness, and, according to her mother, Mrs. Rosa White, arose from her coffin, walked into the midst of a group of mourning friends and announced she had returned from heaven."
One must ask and consider, if we have the faith, to believe for the coming resurrection of the Saints, which is coming, and the Faith to even pray for the miracle of a resurrection today. Jim
One must consider, "What is the eternal value, of the thousands of steeple house programs, "if" they have long ago departed, from the "Faith that was once delivered unto them"? For it is written:
Mark 16 King James Version (KJV)
16 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Do we have those "signs" that follow us today or have we been tricked into a program of just "hanging on" until the Spirit zaps us away, like in the days of Noah? Jim
GEORGE FOX - An Autobiography
CHAPTER VI. A New Era Begins
As we travelled we came near a very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having eaten or drunk but little for several days before.
At night we came to an inn, and declared truth to the man of the house, and wrote a paper to the priests and professors, declaring the day of the Lord, and that Christ was come to teach people Himself, by His power and Spirit in their hearts, and to bring people off from all the world's ways and teachers, to His own free teaching, who had bought them, and was the Saviour of all them that believed in Him. The man of the house spread the paper abroad, and was mightily affected with the truth. Here the Lord opened unto me, and let me see a great people in white raiment by a river side, coming to the Lord; and the place that I saw them in was about Wensleydale and Sedbergh.
The next day we travelled on, and at night got a little fern or bracken to put under us, and lay upon a common. Next morning we reached a town, where Richard Farnsworthparted from me; and then I travelled alone again. I came up Wensleydale, and at the market-town in that Dale, there was a lecture on the market-day. I went into the steeple-house; and after the priest had done I proclaimed the day of the Lord to the priest and people, warning them to turn from darkness to the Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might come to know God and Christ aright, and to receive His teaching, who teacheth freely. Largely and freely did I declare the Word of life unto them, and had not much persecution there.
Afterwards I passed up the Dales, warning people to fear God, and preaching the everlasting gospel to them. In my way I came to a great house, where was a schoolmaster; and they got me into the house. I asked them questions about their religion and worship; and afterwards I declared the truth to them. They had me into a parlour, and locked me in, pretending that I was a young man that was mad, and had run away from my relations; and that they would keep me till they could send to them. But I soon convinced them of their mistake, and they let me forth, and would have had me to stay; but I was not to stay there.
Then having exhorted them to repentance, and directed them to the Light of Christ Jesus, that through it they might come unto Him and be saved, I passed from them, and came in the night to a little ale-house on a common, where there was a company of rude fellows drinking. Because I would not drink with them, they struck me with their clubs; but I reproved them, and brought them to be somewhat cooler; and then I walked out of the house upon the common in the night.
After some time one of these drunken fellows came out, and would have come close up to me, pretending to whisper to me; but I perceived he had a knife; and therefore I kept off him, and bade him repent, and fear God. So the Lord by His power preserved me from this wicked man; and he went into the house again. The next morning I went on through other Dales, warning and exhorting people everywhere as I passed, to repent and turn to the Lord: and several were convinced. At one house that I came to, the man of the house (whom I afterwards found to be a kinsman of John Blakelin's) would have given me money, but I would not receive it.
The next day I went to a meeting at Justice Benson's, where I met a people that were separated from the public worship. This was the place I had seen, where a people came forth in white raiment. A large meeting it was, and the people were generally convinced; and they continue still a large meeting of Friends near Sedbergh; which was then first gathered through my ministry in the name of Jesus.
In the same week there was a great fair, at which servants used to be hired; and I declared the day of the Lord through the fair. After I had done so, I went into the steeple-house yard, and many of the people of the fair came thither to me, and abundance of priests and professors. There I declared the everlasting truth of the Lord and the Word of life for several hours, showing that the Lord was come to teach His people Himself, and to bring them off from all the world's ways and teachers, to Christ, the true teacher, and the true way to God. I laid open their teachers, showing that they were like them that were of old condemned by the prophets, and by Christ, and by the apostles. I exhorted the people to come off from the temples made with hands; and wait to receive the Spirit of the Lord, that they might know themselves to be the temples of God.
Not one of the priests had power to open his mouth against what I declared: but at last a captain said, "Why will you not go into the church? this is not a fit place to preach in." I told him I denied their church. Then stood up Francis Howgill, who was preacher to a congregation. He had not seen me before; yet he undertook to answer that captain; and he soon put him to silence. Then said Francis Howgill of me, "This man speaks with authority, and not as the scribes."
After this, I opened to the people that that ground and house were no holier than another place; and that the house is not the Church, but the people, of whom Christ is the head. After awhile the priests came up to me, and I warned them to repent. One of them said I was mad; so they turned away. But many were convinced there that day, who were glad to hear the truth declared, and received it with joy. Amongst these was Captain Ward, who received the truth in the love of it, and lived and died in it.
The next First-day I came to Firbank chapel in Westmoreland, where Francis Howgill and John Audland had been preaching in the morning. The chapel was full of people, so that many could not get in. Francis said he thought I looked into the chapel, and his spirit was ready to fail, the Lord's power did so surprise him: but I did not look in. They made haste, and had quickly done, and they and some of the people went to dinner; but abundance stayed till they came again. John Blakelin and others came to me, and desired me not to reprove them publicly; for they were not parish-teachers, but pretty tender men. I could not tell them whether I should or no, though I had not at that time any drawings to declare publicly against them; but I said they must leave me to the Lord's movings.
While others were gone to dinner, I went to a brook, got a little water, and then came and sat down on the top of a rock hard by the chapel. In the afternoon the people gathered about me, with several of their preachers. It was judged there were above a thousand people; to whom I declared God's everlasting truth and Word of life freely and largely for about the space of three hours. I directed all to the Spirit of God in themselves; that they might be turned from darkness to Light, and believe in it; that they might become the children of it, and might be turned from the power of Satan unto God, and by the Spirit of truth might be led into all truth, and sensibly understand the words of the prophets, of Christ, and of the apostles; and might all come to know Christ to be their teacher to instruct them, their counsellor to direct them, their shepherd to feed them, their bishop to oversee them, and their prophet to open divine mysteries to them; and might know their bodies to be prepared, sanctified, and made fit temples for God and Christ to dwell in. In the openings of heavenly life I explained unto them the prophets, and the figures and shadows, and directed them to Christ, the substance. Then I opened the parables and sayings of Christ, and things that had been long hid.
Now there were many old people who went into the chapel and looked out at the windows, thinking it a strange thing to see a man preach on a hill, and not in their church, as they called it; whereupon I was moved to open to the people that the steeple-house, and the ground whereon it stood were no more holy than that mountain; and that those temples, which they called the dreadful houses of God were not set up by the command of God and of Christ; nor their priests called, as Aaron's priesthood was; nor their tithes appointed by God, as those amongst the Jews were; but that Christ was come, who ended both the temple and its worship, and the priests and their tithes; and that all should now hearken unto Him; for He said, "Learn of me"; and God said of Him, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
I declared unto them that the Lord God had sent me to preach the everlasting gospel and Word of life amongst them, and to bring them off from all these temples, tithes, priests, and rudiments of the world, which had been instituted since the apostles' days, and had been set up by such as had erred from the Spirit and power the apostles were in. Very largely was I opened at this meeting, and the Lord's convincing power accompanied my ministry, and reached the hearts of the people, whereby many were convinced; and all the teachers of that congregation (who were many) were convinced of God's everlasting truth.
At Kendal a meeting was held in the Town-hall. Several were convinced and many were loving. One whose name was Cock met me in the street and would have given me a roll of tobacco, for people were then much given to smoking. I accepted his love, but did not receive his tobacco.
Thence I went to Underbarrow, and several people going along with me, great reasonings I had with them, especially with Edward Burrough.
At night the priest and many professors came to the house; and a great deal of disputing I had with them. Supper being provided for the priest and the rest of the company, I had not freedom to eat with them; but told them that if they would appoint a meeting for the next day at the steeple-house, and acquaint the people with it, I might meet them. They had a great deal of reasoning about it; some being for, and some against it.
In the morning, after I had spoken to them again concerning the meeting, as I walked upon a bank by the house, there came several poor travellers, asking relief, who I saw were in necessity; and they gave them nothing, but said they were cheats. It grieved me to see such hard-heartedness amongst professors; whereupon, when they were gone in to their breakfast, I ran after the poor people about a quarter of a mile, and gave them some money.
Meanwhile some that were in the house, coming out, and seeing me a quarter of a mile off, said I could not have gone so far in such an instant, if I had not had wings. Hereupon the meeting was like to have been put by; for they were filled with such strange thoughts concerning me that many of them were against having a meeting with me.
I told them that I had run after those poor people to give them some money; being grieved at the hardheartedness of those who gave them nothing.
Then came Miles and Stephen Hubbersty, who, being more simple-hearted men, would have the meeting held. So to the chapel I went, and the priest came.
A great meeting there was, and the way of life and salvation was opened; and after awhile the priest fled away. Many of Crook and Underbarrow were convinced that day, received the Word of life, and stood fast in it under the teaching of Christ Jesus.
After I had declared the truth to them for some hours, and the meeting was ended, the chief constable and some other professors fell to reasoning with me in the chapel yard. Whereupon I took a Bible and opened the Scriptures, and dealt tenderly with them, as one would do with a child. They that were in the Light of Christ and Spirit of God knew when I spake Scripture, though I did not mention chapter and verse, after the priest's form, to them.
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