"We see in the letters to the seven churches in revelations that the Lord, talking to the Churches, keeps saying "he that overcomes".
Love this topic, can I chime in? I don't want to sidetrack the wonderful discussion on true church history you have going.
Not much time to post today.
BTW- Ordered the book you are reading, hope to catch up as it arrived today. My eyes get tired reading on a screen. When it came I saw the forward was written by Dave Hunt. I loved that guy, Went home last year, read about every one of his books yet disagreed with him on his eschatology. Rock solid IMO, His ministry is still called 'The Berean Call'.
It would be wonderful to have you at the table with the rest of us for a pilgrim's walk. If you follow the hard copy book, the page numbers are different than the free copy on line.
This subject of the "overcomers" and the teaching about it fall short of the revelation of it. If the seeking Church can grasp the true meaning of this part of revelations, their lives will be changed forever. Nineteen hundred years of folly has robbed the Church of the inner Joy of being seated in Heavenly places with the revelation of Christ as the "ONLY" overcomer. We can grab hold of this and our lives will be changed forever.
I had been teaching/preaching for many years and did not have this revelation. But the Lord had mercy on me and when this Light came on within, my life was again changed forever.
I know that there are many deceived churches who are teaching error. However, I know there are a still some that are Biblical. I am blessed to live in the Bible Belt where perhaps odds are a little better at finding a good church, and I attend an independent Bible church that values expository preaching. Beyond the teaching, however, the encouragement is small group fellowship with fellow Believers....yes, much like that in the early days of the church. We are a part of that fellowship as well, and I am so thankful.
Even in my area, however, there are those churches that water down truth to attract numbers, and that is wrong. One of the biggest lies I am seeing perpetrated is the distorting of the Biblical Gospel, which Jj so clearly articulated above.
"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream."
From Psalm 126; The Psalter, 1912
1. When in his might the Lord -
Arose to set us free,
And Zion was restored -
From her captivity,
In transports then of joy and mirth -
We praised the Lord of all the earth.
2. The nations saw with fear -
The might of God displayed,
When he at last drew near -
To give his people aid;
Great things for us the Lord has wrought,
And gladness to our hearts has brought.
3. Again refresh us, Lord -
With thy reviving love,
And be the blessing poured -
In mercy from above;
By grace revive our hearts again,
As streams refreshed by copious rain.
4. Although with bitter tears -
The sower bears his seed,
When harvest time appears -
He shall be glad indeed;
For they that in the sowing weep -
Shall yet in joy and gladness reap. A-men.
"......., but Satan and my own apprehensions made a lie of Christ, that He hath casten a dry, withered tree over the dyke of the vineyard. But it was my folly (blessed be His great name), the fire cannot burn the dry tree. He is pleased now to feast the exiled prisoner with His lovely presence; for it suiteth Christ well to be kind, and He dineth and suppeth with such a sinner as I am. I am in Christ's tutoring here. He hath made me content with a borrowed fireside, and it casteth as much heat as my own. I want (for) nothing but real possession of Christ; and He hath given me a pawn (a pledge) of that also, which I hope to keep till He come Himself to loose the pawn. I cannot get help to praise His high name. He hath made me king over my losses, imprisonment, banishment; and only my dumb Sabbaths stick in my throat. But I forgive Christ's wisdom in that. I dare not say one word; He hath done it, and I will lay my hand upon my mouth. If any other hand had done it to me, I could not have borne it."..............
..... from "Letters of Samuel Rutherford": Letter CXXXIX; Aberdeen, 1637
I, myself, was musing the other day about the fiery death of Christ's good, brave, and faithful Polycarp. That put me in remembrance of a similar musing that gripped my mind and spirit several years ago while reading "Fair Sunshine", a recounting of the lives, and bloody deaths, of a band of 'brothers' known as the Covenanters in Scotland. Being hunted down and killed throughout the land, of necessity, they would gather in the bogs and moors outside the cities. There they would hear the Word preached; they would sings hymns and pray; they would encourage one another in the Lord. It fell to some of their children to see them captured, tortured and killed, and later, to behold their father's heads on pikes, and paraded around town for all to see.
Knowing myself to be the cowardly sort, I doubted whether or not, when confronted with the same choice, I would stand where they stood, and do what they did. My judgement was that, left to myself, I would not. But, I thought, perhaps, if a man of brighter faith and greater courage would lead the way up the gallows-steps, then maybe I could follow in his train, step where he stepped, look evil in the eye, and say a good word for Christ in the shadow, and in the teeth, of death.
Imagine my surprise when today, in an allegory, in a dream, I am found 'at the stake, dry wood aplenty...up to the knees, and a ready, eager executioner approaching with the torch already lit'. Imagine my joy when I looked around and saw that many were there with me...some preaching, some praying, some singing songs of praise...and All gladly accepting the privilege, the honor, of 'filling up the sufferings of Christ'. May the smoke of this fire be our 'gold, frankincense and myrrh'.
Thank you, NW View, for sharing your 'daydream' with us.
Your soul's well-wisher....NotWorthyDale
Bishop Hydatius, Metropolitan of Lusi-
tania, led the opposition, and at a Synod held in 380 at Caesaraugusta
(Saragossa) accused him of Manichaean and Gnostic heresy. The pro-
ceedings were not successful until political necessities led the Emperor
Maximus, who had murdered Gratian and usurped his place, to desire
the aid of the Spanish clergy; but then, at a Synod in Burdigala (Bor-
deaux) in 384, Bishop Ithacus, a man of evil repute, joined the attack,
IEWS OF THE
accusing Priscillian and those to whom they attached the title “Priscil-
lianists", of witchcraft and immorality, and the accused were brought to
Treves (Trier), condemned by the Church, and handed over to the civil
power for execution (385). The eminent bishops, Martin of Tours and
Ambrose of Milan, protested in vain against this; Priscillian and six oth-
ers were beheaded, among them a distinguished lady, Euchrotia, widow
of a well known poet and orator. This was the first instance of the execu-
tion of Christians by the Church, an example to be followed afterwards
with such terrible frequency. After this Martin and Ambrose refused to
have any fellowship whatever with Hydatius and the other bishops who
were responsible, and when the Emperor Maximus fell, the cruel torture
and murder of these saintly persons was recorded with abhorrence and
Ithacus was deprived of his bishopric. The bodies of Priscillian and his
companions were brought to Spain and they were honoured as martyrs.
Nevertheless a Synod in Treves approved what had been done, thus giv-
ing the official sanction of the Roman Church to the execution, and this
was confirmed by the Synod .
Well what can be said? Has Rome ever come to the place of repentance for centuries of death and fighting against the Church?
I have long felt that I was born in the incorrect century. I seem to identify with those of old and even wonder if men like William Penn would allow to sit in his prison cell to fellowship as he wrote "No Cross - No Crown". He still speaks today:Pages 408-410.
Behold the life and doctrine, instruction and practice, of the ancient Waldenses. How harmless, how plain, how laborious, how exceeding serious and heavenly in their conversations! These were the men, women, aye children too, who, for above five hundred years, have valiantly, but passively maintained a cruel war, at the expense of their own innocent blood, against the unheard of cruelties and severities of several princes, nuncios, and bishops; but above all, of certain cruel inquisitors, of whom their historians report, that they held it was a greater evil to conceal a heretic than to be guilty of perjury; and for a clergyman to marry a wife than to keep a whore. In short, to dissent, though never to conscientiously, was worse than open immorality. It was against the like adversaries these poor Waldenses fought, by sufferings throughout the nations, by prisons, confiscations, banishments, wandering from hill to valley, from den to cave; being mocked, whipped, racked, thrown from rocks and towers, driven on mountains, and in one night thousands perished by excessive frost and snow, smothered in caves, starved, imprisioned, ripped up, hanged, dismembered, rifled, plundered, strangled, broiled, roasted, burned; and whatsoever could be invented to ruin men, women, and children. These Waldenses, you Protestants pretend to be your ancestors: from them, you say, you have your religion; and often, like the Jews of the prophets, are you building their praises in your discourses: but Oh look back, I beseech you, how unlike are you to these afflicted PILGRIMS (highlighted for the book club)! What resemblance is there of their life in yours? Did they help to purchase and preserve you a liberty and religion, can you think, at the loss of all that was dear to them, that you might pass away your days and years, in pride, wantonness, and vanity? What proportion bears your excess with their temperance; your gaudiness with their plainness; your luxury and flesh-pleasing conversations with their simplicity and self denial? But are you not got into that spirit and nature they condemned in their day; into that carnality and worldly-mindedness they reproved in their persecutors, nay, into a strain pf persecution too, which you seem to hide under a CLOAK OF REFORMATION? How can you hope to refute their persecutors whose worst part perhaps was their cruelty, that turn persecutors yourselves? What have you besides their good words that are like them? And do you think that words will send off the blows of eternal vengeance? That a little by-rote babble, though of never so good expressions in themselves, shall serve your turn at the great day? No, from God I tell you, that whilst you live in the wantonness, pride, and luxury of the world, pleasing and fulfilling the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life , God detests you all, and laughs you and your worship to scorn. Never tell me, I am too rash; it is the devil that says so; he has got two scriptures by the end of these days: one, that there is none that doth good: and why? That he may persuade all it is impossible to OVERCOME him; which is the reason so many are overcome; although glory is promised to none but conquerors. The second, that we must not judge, lest we be judged: that is whilst we are guilty of the same things that are equivalent, lest we are judged. But away with Satan and his hypocrisy too.
Well, it is time for me to leave William Penn's cell and head out for work while I continue to ponder why I live in this era.
Well the day finally arrived that all the believers were looking for. The Church age was over and the new age was just beginning for many. I could see multitudes of believers in front of me and also the gates of the Kingdom. Those gates seemed smaller than I had thought they would be, however beautiful.
I saw several of the brethren from the international picnic table going forward in that general direction. NWD said hi to me and he told me that there was loud weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth near the gates from those who were denied access. They said that they had seen Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets of God in the Kingdom but they had been thrown out. Luke 13:28-29. NWD said that he had never seen anything so awful his entire life on earth as that horrible scene.
We both caught up will IRB and he said that he ran into the five foolish virgins and they were just a few of the thousands that were like them. They were believers but were also shut out. They were talking it over between themselves and were upset because their pastor told them that they we set for the Kingdom. They went off looking for him.
Jer. Jr. and SWM were moving forward and told us that they had seen some really long tables within the Kingdom and even a multitude of places for the martyrs. I told Jer. Jr. that it would we wonderful if the Lord would allow us to just serve at their table for we have paid nothing for our access. Jer. Jr. told me that he met some prosperity people who were trying to buy their way in. But the gate keeper said that their money was a witness against them, that they have had their rewards paid in full long ago. That was a sad scene also.
SWM said that there was several groupings of believers who were all in their systems coming together. Their leader was telling the gate keeper that he was the "covering" for his flock behind him. The gate keeper said "Yes they are your flock but we only allow the "flock of the Lord to enter" and your covering is not the same as the "Covering of the Lord". SWM said that there were some angry people in that crowd. They said that they had left much to follow the teachings of the covering pastors.
We all approached the gates and we heard several believers asking to enter and knocking on the door. The gate keeper would say "why are you worthy to enter"? Most told about going to church (SH) their whole lives, joining, being baptized into their system, paying tithes at 10% and submitting to the pastors of their system. They even said that they had done some street preaching a few time along with the fact that their grandfather was a well known preacher on t.v.. Well the gatekeeper said depart from here and the gate was closed. Matthew 7: 21-23.
It was a bit shocking for us as we approached the gate and we wondered who would be next to knock and answer any questions. Then we saw him. One from our own picnic table who had said little but had an inner glow. He truly had the whip marks upon him that he had received in life for his stand against the false divisions. Jer. Jr. and I wanted to hear what he would say, so we ran forward, near the gate to hear. Boy he could really knock loudly. The gatekeeper opened to him and said "Why should you be allowed access to the Kingdom and be allowed to sit at table with these Saints within"?
He opened his mouth and said "Well, I really have only one answer. For me myself, there is no good in me except the Christ that Lives within. I have no personal righteousness, holiness, goodness, love, mercy, joy , peace, or anything else that belongs anywhere other than the dung piles on earth. However, I long ago received the revelation from the Spirit of God that Jesus is the sum of all my spiritual needs to gain entrance within His Kingdom. I threw away all my goodness and took on Christ as the completeness of all spiritual things. He said that He is the I'am and not the I have. So I have received Him within and grabbed hold of His Life as my own. Therefore, as I stated in the beginning, I only have one answer and it is summed up in Christ alone.
Then it happened, the gates opened wide and the Lord Himself stood before us. He said "I told all that in My Father's house are many dwelling places and I have prepared a place for you and I have received you to Myself that where I am, there you may be also". John 14: 2-3. "Enter into the Joy of the Lord".
Thank you NW VIEW for posting this.
"For me myself, there is no good in me except the Christ that Lives within. I have no personal righteousness, holiness, goodness, love, mercy, joy , peace, or anything else that belongs anywhere other than the dung piles on earth. However, I long ago received the revelation from the Spirit of God that Jesus is the sum of all my spiritual needs to gain entrance within His Kingdom. I threw away all my goodness and took on Christ as the completeness of all spiritual things. He said that He is the I'am and not the I have. So I have received Him within and grabbed hold of His Life as my own. Therefore, as I stated in the beginning, I only have one answer and it is summed up in Christ alone".
Almost 40 years ago I submitted my life to Christ. At first it was exciting as I experience answers to prayer. Then life got a little hard. Personal struggles that I prayed and asked God for help got even more difficult. The more I read the Bible the more frustrated I became. I read scripture like Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
And then I wondered how can I be all of those things?!
I was stuck in Romans chapter 7, vs. 19-25" For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Chapter 8 talks about the freedom we have from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
In some areas of my life I notice changes gradually and was surprised. In other areas it took me a long time to experience overcoming.
But once I won some major battles with Satan I gained faith and strength.
NW VIEW warned us about battles that we will face because of the truth that is being revealed on this forum/Book club.
He was right and once again I am facing some difficult issues. I am encouraged by all of your posts.
In the Day dream by NW VIEW regarding Jer. Jr.'s answer to the gatekeeper I must say it brought tears to my eyes.
After I read your post I found myself saying, "wait for me".
"Imagine my surprise when today, in an allegory, in a dream, I am found 'at the stake, dry wood aplenty...up to the knees, and a ready, eager executioner approaching with the torch already lit'. Imagine my joy when I looked around and saw that many were there with me...some preaching, some praying, some singing songs of praise...and All gladly accepting the privilege, the honor, of 'filling up the sufferings of Christ'. May the smoke of this fire be our 'gold, frankincense and myrrh'.
Once again, thank you and please keep posting.
Thanks for that heart felt post, truly, all I can say is, don't listen to the enemy. He never lets up, he is the accuser of the brethren. No?
Truth be told; we all live in Romans 7 somewhere, don't we?
Nothing is needs to be added to the believer in Christ to make one fit for heaven, only the removal of something, and that something is the remaining sinful flesh, or as Paul calls it, 'the body of this death'.
Until that time victory is available for all...... one just has to believe it.
" When it is all said and done, the life of Faith is nothing, if not an unending struggle of the Spirit with every available weapon, against the Flesh" Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Having made peace through the blood of his cross..." Col.1:20
Horatius Bonar, 1808 - 1889
1. By the cross of Jesus standing,
Love our straitened souls expanding,
Taste we now the peace and grace!
Health from yonder tree is flowing,
Heav'nly light is on it glowing,
From the blessed Suff'rer's face.
2. Here is pardon's pledge and token,
Guilt's strong chain forever broken,
Righteous peace securely made;
Brightens now the brow once shaded,
Freshens now the face once faded,
Peace with God now makes us glad.
3. All the love of God is yonder,
Love above all thought and wonder,
Perfect love that casts out fear!
Strength, like dew, is here distilling,
Glorious life our souls is filling,
Life eternal, only here!
4. Here the living water welleth;
Here the Rock, now smitten, telleth
Of salvation freely giv'n:
This the fount of love and pity,
This the pathway to the city,
This the very gate of heav'n. A-men.
.............."Except ye receive the kingdom of God as a little child," and be as meek and sober-minded as a babe, "ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God." That is a word which should touch you near, and make you stoop and cast yourself down, and make your great spirit fall. I know that this will not be easily done, but I recommend it to you, as you tender (offer formally) your part of the kingdom of heaven.
Brother, I may, from new experience, speak of Christ to you. Oh, if ye saw in Him what I see! A river of God's unseen joys has flowed from bank to brae over my soul since I parted with you. I wish that I wanted part (had less), so being ye might have (have more); that your soul might be sick of love for Christ, or rather satiated with Him. This clay-idol, the world, would seem to you then not worth a fig; time will eat you out of possession of it. When the eye-strings break, and the breath groweth cold, and the imprisoned soul looketh out of the windows of the clay-house, ready to leap out into eternity, what would you then give for a lamp full of oil? Oh seek it now." ---- Letter CXLVIII (a portion); from "Letters of Samuel Rutherford"
Note: The phrase 'from bank to brae' = Above ordinary bounds, or boundaries
***** Miscellany *****
1. I can't remember where I heard it, or who I heard it from, but a quote that has always stuck in my mind is this: "The Church is not an organization but, rather, an organism." Perhaps this will be the over-arching theme in, and the synthesis of, our reading @ "The Pilgrim Church"(?).
2. I hope I don't come off as pretentious. The Lord knows 'my standing up and my sitting down'...'He knows my words before I ever speak them.' From my youth, I have known His name, but never did I choose to honor it. I, like many others, chose to set my own course, and sail by my own compass. I have hurt many along the way, and I have 'pierced myself through with many sorrows'. May the beauty of a well-formed sentence not conceal the wretchedness of the man who wields the pen.
I am now 65. By the age of 35, I was married and divorced twice. By my first wife, Lisa, I fathered a son. That child was not allowed to see the light of day. We, being godless, and with a marriage already 'on the rocks', thought it not only reasonable, but even a kindness, to end that pregnancy by aborting the child. It was years later, while under conviction of sin in a place where drunks 'dry out', that the Spirit of my blessed Lord whispered, "You had a hand in the death of your own son." That arrow from Christ's bow nearly slew me, and to this day, sticks fast in me. Whenever that word passes through my memory, I weep bitter tears. And Lisa suffered greatly, too, as she now faces old-age wounded, and sorrowful, and childless.
There is no profit to be had by any further disclosure of a life poorly lived, whether it be of another failed marriage or two more disappointed, broken-hearted children who were allowed to live, yet were poorly loved; whether it be of thefts, or of lies, or of perversity; whether it be of a venomous, spiteful, blaspheming tongue or of multiple attempts to make shipwreck of faith by sin against light. My failings have been legion...My sins have been great...My life and my gift have been sorely misspent.
I only confess these things that you may know me a little. I refuse to go to my deathbed without a good word for Christ upon my lips. I am, by posting here, showing you an old man's attempt to return to his first love. In heaven or on earth, I have no other help but Christ. I wander about all the day long asking, "Have you seen my Beloved?" I speak up now because some say 'it is wisdom to strike while the iron is hot'. Whether this be obedience to that injunction, "Stir up the gift that is in you", I know not, nor do I care. All I do know is that I long to die with my head upon the pillow of Christ's breast...And I hope that I shall see the faces of everyone I have injured, happy and not weeping, gathered 'round the banqueting table when we arrive at that great and joy-full Marriage Supper of the Lamb. A-men.
3. I fear I have over-stepped, and said too much. I think I am overly tired.
Well that is a powerful background story and should be seen as a warning for all to find the narrow road that one must travel to avoid damage to all that we touch. We all have passed along these same roads, just different sins, different places and times.
Your post NWD, reminds me of the word of the Lord in Rev. 3: 17-19.
We live these lives thinking that we "are in need of nothing" but the Lord's view is "that we do not realize and understand that we are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked". What is the difference between NWD and the rest of those not seated at table? He has fallen upon his pile of sin , late in his life, and has seen the full view of it. He has come to the same place as Jacob Marley who visited Ebenezer with his "chain of bricks" around his body that were forged in life and taken into eternity. Ebenezer was blessed to cast off the weight of the sinful stones within the film. However, it takes more than an attitude change to become free. NWD has come face to face with the drawing of God's Spirit, viewed his pile of sin, repented upon this revelation and received that cleansing that is found only "In Christ".
Well NWD, it may be that we should meet some day between our two cities for a pizza. We could talk things over at Papa Pete's in Castle Rock along I-5. I'll buy.
"Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn."—Ruth 2:2.
OWNCAST and troubled Christian, come and glean to-day in the broad field of promise. Here are abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet thy wants. Take this one: "He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax." Doth not that suit thy case? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself; a reed, and that reed bruised, yet, He will not break thee; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen thee. Thou art like the smoking flax: no light, no warmth, can come from thee; but He will not quench thee; He will blow with His sweet breath of mercy till He fans thee to a flame. Wouldst thou glean another ear? "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." What soft words! Thy heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaketh so gently to thee. Wilt thou not obey Him, and come to Him even now? Take another ear of corn: "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." How canst thou fear with such a wonderful assurance as this? Thou mayest gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! "I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud thy transgressions." Or this, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Or this, "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely." Our Master's field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them. Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.
C. H. Spurgeon
I have three sons and the new music generation has, at times, a hard time connecting with the old. Such is life.
That said, this song by Josh Garrels is the younger generations spirit, and message. His lyrics and music have a sound theology and it captivated me the first time I heard it.
This song has been running through my head all week.
For the more conservative of those reading in, here is Psalm 32 by the ‘Sons of Korah’, one of my favorites as well.
Same basic message; ……. just different messengers, speaking it.
"My Father, in heaven, I thank thee - from a heart about to burst...
My love to thee so fickle......But, O, You loved me first!
Before my eyes saw daylight - Before I drew me breath...
Thy choice it was to love me....And save my soul from Death!
And, tho' such Truth so precious - Hath lived within my breast...
I've sinned Thee from my presence - I've put Thee to the test.
Not once, or twice, but ever - This flesh hath fought Thee sore...
But Grace rolls like a river - and calls my name once more.
How sweet, these feet, when running - Back to my Father's house...
Who knows full-well my failings - Yet loves me none the less!
And He rejoices at my coming! - His arms are open-wide!...
He bears me gifts and treasure! - and all I've lost is Pride.
Then, tears and warm rejoicing...Bedew both day and night...
For Love hath won the battle! - And I've received my sight!
My love, in Christ, to All...
I have so much that I want to say, but I am going to resist the temptation. I am worn out from lack of sleep...and dropping tears. To the many who have come to my succour so recently, there is reward awaiting you in Heaven. I would rather you hear about it from our Lord's own sweet lips!
P.S...Where are you, IRB? You have been absent for a few days, but it seems like a year.
Hello Brothers and Sisters, I wrote a long piece to post yesterday but wasn't pleased with the effort, so I scraped it.
I want to thank everyone for the lovely stories of Feast and Famine.
My Spirit is renewed and refreshed through the abundance of spiritual food over spread our table here.
Thanksgiving and Praise from me to You.
Blessings and Grace from our Lord be increased upon You all, standfast beloved, rejoice in our coming affliction.
For through affliction, we are lessened, so that He be increased within us.
Praise our King, Who's coming draws nigh.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Love brother foggy.
The style of Priscillian’s writing is vivid and telling, he constantly
quotes Scripture in support of what he advances and shows an inti-
mate acquaintance with the whole of the Old and New Testaments. He
maintained, however, the right of the Christian to read other literature,
and this was made the occasion of accusing him of wishing to include the
Apocrypha in the Canon of Scripture, which he did not do. He defends
himself and his friends for their habit of holding Bible readings in which
laymen were active and women took part, also for their objection to
taking the Lord’s Supper with frivolous and worldly minded persons. For
Priscillian the theological disputatious in the Church had little value, for
he knew the gift of God, and had accepted it by a living faith. He would
not dispute as to the Trinity, being content to know that in Christ the true
One God is laid hold of by the help of the Divine Spirit. He taught
that the object of redemption is that we should be turned to God and
therefore an energetic turning from the world is needed, lest anything
might hinder fellowship with God. This salvation is not a magical event
brought about by some sacrament, but a spiritual act. The Church in-
deed publishes the confession, and baptises, and conveys the commands
or Word of God, to men, but each one must decide for himself and be-
lieve for himself. If communion with Christ should be broken it is for
each one to restore it by personal repentance. There is no special official
grace, laymen have the Spirit as much as clergy.
We could look at many things that the early Church maintained but Priscillian had the insight to address those who came to the Lord's Supper that were "frivolous and worldly minded". What would he say today at the S.H.'s?
Long ago I began to become uneasy within the system even back in the old RCC days when I was an alter boy and helping serve communion. All of us were in the confessional booth and said our prayers afterwards as quickly as possible. I did not feel any better and I knew all the kids would need to be back in the booth next Sunday morning ASAP. Later in life after coming to Christ and gaining a bit of understanding in several S.H.'s like 4 Square, Covenant, A.G.'s, Independents, etc., I noticed that nothing had changed except the confession booth was gone. I would look down the line of those waiting for the bread and think "well I know those two are sleeping together, that one is a thief, those teenagers are all having continual sex, and there does not seem to be any direction given to this group as to who should be sitting down and waiting." The preacher would get up and say "We have open Communion in our House of God, all are welcome at the communion table". I would think "you have got to be kidding, I am not one loaf with all these people and I am the one who will not receive".
Yes there is only One Body, One Church, One Lord above all and the early Church understood the danger of receiving the Cup and the Bread in an unworthy manner, do we?
The "Exclusive Brethren' of the 1800's were an interesting group and the way they handled communion. It is good to study how they came to their understanding and the conflicts that arose with the Brethren and Watchman Nee. (Long story)
CHAPTER #3 PAGE 43
* * * * *
Veneration of relics began at an early stage of the Church’s history.
Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, brought from Jerusalem
wood supposed to be part of the cross, and nails which she believed had
been used at the crucifixion.
Pictures, images, and ikons began to be valued. Churches were built
to receive relics or to commemorate the death of martyrs. Insensibly
the meetings of the disciples of the Lord, in simple houses and rooms,
changed to the gathering of all, willing or unwilling, believers or not,
in consecrated buildings dedicated to the Virgin or one of the saints,
filled with images, pictures, and relics, which became objects of worship.
Prayer was diverted from God to the Virgin and the saints, and the
idolatry of Paganism was reproduced in the gross superstitions that grew
up around the images, the priests, and the forms of religion. It is a
mark of the power of the revelation of Christ contained in the Scriptures,
that even when Pagan idolatry and superstition had succeeded in gaining
possession of the Catholic churches, there were to be found in them,
then as now, great numbers of believers, whose hope of salvation was
in Christ and whose lives were pious and godly. They, however, were
a remnant, hidden in the mass of those who had been misled into the
system of idolatry with its accompanying sin and ignorance, and their
protests were raised in vain.
Well Helena understood how to raise some serious fiat by traveling to Jerusalem, hundreds of years after the Lord walked the streets, and dig up any and all valuable items connected to Christ and His True Church. It is said that if you gathered all the wood that was sold from the original Cross, it would take a forest's supply.
We have gone into homes many times to visit new Christians, who have come out of their S.H. system and we have gathered full trash cans of idols to be burned. It is truly amazing to view the idolatry that is still here from the days after the early Church. It usually takes deliverance to overcome the full force of the great sin against God. amen
Andrew Murray - The Holiest of All - page 476:
The history of Israel, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, is a real type and figure of the life of Christ in the soul. In the illustrations taken from the beginning of that history, we have some of the chief steps of the Christian life strikingly illustrated. By faith Moses, with Israel, left Egypt, "not fearing the wrath of the king" who would pursue them. That is ever the first step --- coming out; being separate; parting with sin; bidding farewell to Egypt, the land of our birth; and not fearing the wrath of Satan or the world. It is by nothing but faith that this can be done, definitely and perseveringly. But faith can enable us to do it, as it did Moses. "For he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible". Here is the mighty power of faith: It sees what others cannot see. It sees, amid the thousands things others see and are guided by, something infinitely greater - it sees God. No wonder it leads a man to act differently from other men. On everything it looks at, the bright light of eternity, of God, is shining. No wonder that, under the inspiration of that vision, it can do mighty deeds, for it sees God its Helper and Strength.
Let me here say to every believer that just as, in any pursuit, the eye by practice can be trained to see what others cannot see, so the eye of faith can be trained to see God everywhere. Abide in His presence until the heart is filled with it. Recognize Him in everything that happen. Seek to walk in the light of His countenance. Seeing the invisible will make it easy to forsake the world and to do the will of God.
It was not long ago, in a land called the Church Age, in a corner of it named TFMetals, that the One whose name is 'Wonderful', called together three of his choicest men. These men were all shepherds, and had been for some time. A summons from 'Wonderful' was always a delight to their ears, and an invitation to his house was an invitation they had no power to resist. When they would gather at 'Wonderful''s house, they had a habit of greeting Him with a holy kiss, and addressing Him as Our Good and Chief Shepherd. They did this out of love for the truth, but more, out of love for His-self.
On this morning, the Good Shepherd informed them that He had counted the heads of His sheep, and that two (perhaps there were more but I can only say 'two') were not within the safety of the fold. He gave the 'under-shepherds' instructions as to where these two were, which two they were, and how they were to be recovered. He warned them that these two were more pig-headed than most sheep are, and that they would find one of them nearly dead, and the other one, in spite of his dire condition, looking for a fight. He warned them that their task might seem, at times, a thankless one, but He also encouraged them to trust Him. They replied, in unison, "We trust You. Send us!"
The Good Shepherd instructed them go to the farthest edge of TFMetals, where the Valley of Death is. Pitch your tents there, on the three out-croppings of Rock that overshadow the Valley. My two lost sheep are there, at the bottom of the cliffs, dying. There is but one trail out of the Valley, and it has fallen to you three to woo them onto the path, and out of their misery.
He said to Foggyroad, "Take my Word with you, and pitch your tent on the Rock called 'Socks and Underwear'. From there, cry out...and don't lose heart."
He said to JeremiahJr, "Take my Word with you, and pitch your tent on the Rock called 'Zionism'. From there, cry out...and don't lose heart."
He said to NW View, "Take my Word with you, and pitch your tent on the Rock called 'Thread of Faith'. From there, cry out...and don't lose heart."
So, the three set out on their way to the edge of the Valley of Death, and pitched their tents where they had been instructed to do. And, tho' they were three, they cried out as one; and they did not lose heart, even when their eyes beheld the sight of the two lost sheep, far away, on the Valley's floor. It was as the Lord had told them: One was nigh unto death, and the other was looking for a fight...and they were the exact same two that the One, named Wonderful, had said they would find there, in the Valley of Death.
Now, down in the bottom of the Valley of Death, the words of the men crying out from the cliff-tops, began to settle on the ears of the two lost sheep.
The one that was nigh unto death was covered in his own filth, for he had lain in the same spot too long. Flies, and the stench of rotting flesh, permeated the air around him. It was all he could do to open one muck-covered eye in a feeble attempt to see where the words were emanating from. But weakness prevented a clear view of the cliff-tops, so he cast a glance toward the place where the other lost sheep was; then laid his head back down to die.
The other lost sheep was not so foul as the one nearly dead. He still retained his strength, and the words from the cliff-tops seemed more to him a challenge, than a song. He desired to be out of the Valley of Death, but he seemed more desirous that the men would come down to the valley floor, and engage him there, where he could run circles around them, and tire them out. Whether that was truly the case, I know not. But there remained, for them, no hope of rescue, for the one was far too weak, and the other was far too strong; and another cold night on the valley floor was all the food they had to eat.
It appears that something happened during the night, because when the sun rose on the 'morrow, the strong one lay alongside the weak one, and he was, in spite of the flies and the stench, licking the muck off the eyes of the other. The near-dead one took much comfort from this, and for the first time in a long time, desired to be up on his feet again, and not to die in the Valley of Death. And the other sheep, also, was possessed with the same aching and yearning.
Now, when the words from the cliff-tops descended again to the valley floor, and settled on the ears of the two lost sheep, they both began to stir, and to move. The voices from above led them on, and after much walking over several miles, they came, at long last, to the foot of the trail that led from the valley floor to the heights above. It was here that the weak one, looking up the trail out of his once muck-covered eyes, deemed the journey too arduous and too far, so he laid down again, and looked a sad look at his sheep-mate. They both rested there for about an hour.
When the sweet sounds of the words emanating from the Rocks above began again, only the strong sheep took to his feet. He still had a lot of fight left in him, but it was of a different sort; it was that type of fight which only interests itself in the Good Fight of Faith. Therefore, he took renewed interest in his fallen friend, and determined within himself (as sheep often do) that if both of them could not make the trek up the trail out of the Valley, then both of them would die there trying. So he nudged and prodded the weak one until the weak one got up; then he got behind him, and began head-butting him up the trail. After several hours and much struggle, the two of them arrived, together, at the top of the cliff, at the edge of the Valley of Death, where they found green pasture, and a Rock from which water flowed! They also saw, at their first coming to this place, the three men who had been crying out to them; who had obeyed Wonderful's command, and who hadn't lost heart.
It was a very happy scene, and as they all, shepherds and sheep alike, turned from where they had been and began their journey back to the sheep-fold where Christ tends the needs and counts the heads of His flock, they said among themselves that, from now on, in honor of the One who had sent them there, they will refer to this place as the Valley of the Shadow of Death, for none of the Good Shepherd's called-out ones will ever perish there. The three men looked one another in the eye, and in heartfelt agreement, whispered..A-men.
Now that is a wonderful story. Those calling from high on the rocks really do not know if any sheep are listening. There is little understanding as to what the lost sheep have been eating and drinking and who has been supplying the tainted food. When the two lost sheep arrive at the top of the valley, they blend in exactly with the three sheep who were calling because we are just all "the sheep of His Pasture".
I think I just saw NWD and Foggy heading over to the edge of the valley to begin "their calling" all over again.