Sunday, February 26, 2012

WHO IS YOUR COUNSELOR?

Are you your own counselor? Do you make your decisions based on what you know and have experienced? What if what you know is false because you have believed something that was false? Do you think that people who believe in a Pentecostal experience of speaking in an unknown tongue base their belief on a spiritual experience they have had? Yes they do! Is that experience a witness of truth? No!

Do you get your counsel from reading spiritual self-help books? Do all authors speak and write the truth? Do you really know the author and what beliefs motivate his writing?

Do you get your counsel from other people? How do you choose whom you will believe to be a reliable and trustworthy authority? You are individually responsible to God for choosing whom you will believe. You can not escape this responsibility because God has not left you without the influence of the Holy Spirit whom He has given to be your counselor. Regardless of how many voices you hear in your mind, one of those voices was the Holy Spirit.

John 8:13-18
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

The Word, which is Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit have been sent to us by the Father to witness to us what is true. You do not have the knowledge and wisdom within yourself to direct your own steps. You will utterly fail without the help of the Holy Spirit who has been sent by Jesus Christ to witness to your heart and mind.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah prophesied of the coming of Jesus Christ. Isaiah called Jesus our Counsellor.
Do you look into the Lord’s instruction manual for direction on what to do next? The Bible is the Book of Life. It will teach you what to do in every situation. If you do not know what the Bible says about a particular problem, it is because you have not read or have not understood the directions.

Many people study the Word of God and do not understand what they read. It is because they do not have the Holy Spirit to give them the proper interpretation. The Holy Scriptures can not be understood by the natural man. The light of truth can only come from one source and that is the giver of light, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

When God was speaking to Isaiah, He told him that he could not find a counselor among men. There is none. Without God’s grace, wisdom and goodness, there is no man qualified to counsel another man.

Isaiah 41:28-29
28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

When God spoke to Micah, God asked him if the counselor had perished and could they not understand.

Micah 4:9
Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.

Micah 4:12
12 But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel:

We have a warning in Nahum that there be wicked counselors in the world.

Nahum 1:11
There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor.

We also are encouraged to know that there are honorable counselors in the world.

Mark 15:43
Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

Romans 11:34
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Exodus 18:19-20
19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

What makes a man a good counselor? The counselor must be sent by God.
You must ask God to help you know who is a good counselor. God will teach you according to His plan which is by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

If you do not diligently seek to know the truth, you will not find it.
If you do not ask the Holy Spirit for truth, you will not find it.

Deuteronomy 32:28-29
28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

God wants us to consider our ways and ask Him for the right counsel.

Judges 20:18
And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up first.

Will you ask God what you should do? Life is a serious matter and it deserves your serious attention. Don’t be casual and careless about your decisions.

When you are faced with important decisions, you will hear many counselors. Some will give you good counsel; others will give you bad counsel. Whether you are a leader or a follower, you will need to receive counsel for the many decisions you make.

1 Kings 12:6-11
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins.
11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Job was a righteous man and he went through a very difficult time in his life. He has some friends who came to give him counsel. God had something to say about Job’s friends who came to give him counsel.

Job 38:1-2
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

I have friends who give me counsel and they do not have the knowledge of God.
You have friends who will give you counsel and they do not have the knowledge of God.

Psalms 1:1-6
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalms 33:10-12
10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

God is faithful and He will give you counsel by way of the Word and the Spirit.
It is up to you, which voice you will listen to and follow.

Proverbs 1:25
But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

You need counsel and you need to certify and qualify the counselor whom you choose to follow. Godly counsel will be the consensus of more than one person.

Proverbs 11:14
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

Proverbs 15:22
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

Proverbs 19:20-21
20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

God has not left us without counsel. The question is: Will you listen to godly counsel?

Acts 20:27-30
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Who is your counselor? Whom have you proven to be trustworthy and in agreement with the Word and the Spirit? Perhaps you have not done the proper and necessary research to know who is the right counselor. The way of truth will not be found by the lazy and careless person. It takes time and effort to know the truth and to know who is telling you the truth.

Revelation 3:14-18
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.

Have you found the “gold tried in the fire?” Have you bought it? Have you allowed the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to help you choose the right counselor?

Who is your counselor? Some day you will give an account for your decision on whom you have listened and followed.

Make sure that you have a counselor who is certified and qualified by the Word and the Spirit. Your eternal life depends on who you follow.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tax Fraud

We live in a country where too many people believe that it is just and right to take resources which were the profit of other men’s labors and consume those resources on themselves. It is well known that the United States of America is no longer “united.” We are divided one against another. Taxation without representation is growing stronger and stronger.

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Money is the measure of wealth and the medium of exchange. With money you can obtain a more comfortable arrangement of living. When the desire for physical comfort and the things money can provide becomes more important than justice, people will transgress against one another. People will accept money from the government which has been ill gotten by excess taxation. They are willing to use other people’s money, instead of being content to live according to their own labors.

"The covetous man who heaps up riches by unjust ways, is compared to a bird which hatches the eggs of other fowls. And as the young, when hatched, and able at all to shift for themselves, abandon her who is not their mother, and leave her nothing to compensate her trouble, so the covetous man loses those unjustly-gotten treasures, and the fruit of his labour." – Dahler.

When people are willing to take the resources gained by another man's labors and consume it upon their own desires, wickedness will increase in the community. There are divine consequences to stealing another man's nest eggs. America needs to completely reorganize and regulate the welfare and entitlement programs which are robbing the working man of his nest eggs.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

PERSECUTED AND BLESSED

The prophet Jeremiah was called the “Weeping Prophet” because of the many tears he shed for the transgressions of his people. He was a man of God who stood for righteousness in the midst of apostasy. He told the truth when others were telling lies. He suffered at the hands of the people while they suffered at the hands of God. The more God punished the people for their sins, the more the people punished Jeremiah for exposing their sins.

During this great struggle of evil against good, Jeremiah prayed to God and cried out for mercy and deliverance from the wicked hands of the people of Israel. These are the words of Jeremiah’s prayer:

“O Lord, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? With thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?”

Sometimes in the midst of our difficulties and the tests which are hard on our flesh, we cry out to God for mercy. We are pressed to think that God has forsaken us and left us with no deliverance. Many of God’s children have been brought to such a spiritual exhaustion. King David asked why his enemies prospered over him. Christ cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” But our God will not forsake us, though our human feelings may question our deliverance from the hands of our persecutors. God’s message to us is still much the same as it was to Jeremiah. This is God’s reply to the Weeping Prophet:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee: but return not thou unto them. And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord. And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.”

Our God is faithful. He will deliver us from the hands of our enemies in His Own time. We must wait on the Lord. We must patiently suffer while the Lord brings all things into judgment. We must keep all the commandments of our Lord. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Can you help those who are persecuting you? It will help you to be strong in kindness and humility, if you will remember that people who walk in the darkness do not fully understand what they do. They have been influenced by some person or some spirit to make the wrong decision and they do not fully understand the evil of that decision. The apostle Paul exhorts us to have mercy on these who persecute us and hurt themselves. Paul wrote: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

My prayer for you is that the Lord, who has sent the Holy Spirit to give you grace, will help you do right when others do wrong.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are synonymous (at least in part) with the church of God on earth. There is a portion of the Kingdom on earth, which is the church; and, there is a portion of the Kingdom already enjoying the eternal bliss of heaven in a place Jesus called Paradise.

The term church, the ekklesia, the “called out ones” is never used in the scriptures to refer to that portion of the saints which has already passed from this world to the next.

Luke 1:30-33
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

When Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, came to earth about 2,000 years ago, His Kingdom, which is also eternal, entered a new era of operation with mankind.
Jesus was a King when He was born.
He was a King before He was born.
He is a King and His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.
His Kingdom is not of this world although a portion of it is in this world.
His Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Do you believe that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago? Is He a King? Does He have a Kingdom? If a man has no kingdom, how then can he be a king? Can a man be a father if he has no children? Can a woman be a wife if she has no husband? Can a man be a servant if he has no master?

Luke 9:18-27
18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Who are these people who were standing there on that day who also saw the Kingdom of God? They are those whose spiritual eyes were opened to see the Truth. They are those who through faith and obedience entered into the Kingdom of God. They saw and became a part of what they saw. If you say you see the Kingdom and do not obey the commandments of Jesus Christ, you are yet blind and walk in darkness. You can not see, except you walk in the light of faith and obedience.

Luke 10:1-9
10 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Two thousand years ago, as the disciples of Jesus Christ walked and talked with Him, the Kingdom of God had come nigh unto them. They were at the very door of this new era of the Kingdom of God. If the Kingdom of God was not yet to appear for another 2,000 years, you would not expect Jesus to say that it “is come nigh unto you.” This new era of the Kingdom of God was fully empowered on the day of Pentecost when the disciples received the infilling of the Holy Spirit which gave them the grace and spiritual vision to see and understand the great work of bringing people to the saving knowledge of faith in Jesus Christ.

Luke 17:20-21
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

I encourage you and warn you to fully accept and believe these two verses of divine scripture. First, the Kingdom of God does not and will not come with visual observation. It is not something that you see with your physical eyes. You can not see when a person experiences that transformation whereby sin is left behind and salvation is obtained. You can see the effects, but you can not see the actual experience.

Salvation, entering into the Kingdom of God, is a spiritual transformation of the desires of the heart. It is known to the individual and to the Holy Spirit. Others must wait for the visible, precious fruit of that experience.

John 18:33-38
33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Was Jesus a King? Do you believe that Jesus is the King of the Jews?
Do you believe that Jesus is the King of the family of God?
Do you see the Kingdom of God? Are you in it?

Acts 1:1-8
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Jesus did not tell the disciples that in about 50 days they would receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit and then they would see things and understand things differently. He did not tell them the time when this would take place. He just told them to wait for it.

The disciples were expecting and anticipating the establishment of a literal kingdom in this world. Jesus had previously taught them that His Kingdom was not of this world, but they did not understand, yet. Later, they did understand. After it happened they understood.

It is very difficult to understand something that you have not experienced.

Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”

The Kingdom of God is not about the literal and physical things of this world. It is all about the power of holiness and righteousness. It is all about the power of having God’s approval and His blessings.

The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that: “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Again in Colossians 1:13-14 Paul tells us: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Paul states that he had already been translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It was a present reality. It was not understood to be some future event.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Have you been called into His Kingdom and glory? Are you still waiting for some future event when you will have victory over the flesh and sin and be made holy?

It is a deceitful snare of Satan to cause people to believe that their salvation from sin is to be found in some future event.

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

We have already received a kingdom which can not be prevailed against. We may choose to allow Satan to prevail against us individually; but, Satan will not prevail against the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:9, “John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, “

John was in the Kingdom. You can be in the Kingdom today.

Revelation 12:10, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:”

Now is come salvation.
Now is come strength to resist temptation and say no to sin.
Now is come the Kingdom of our God.
Now is come the power of Jesus Christ to deliver you from the bondage of your sins.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Flesh and The Spirit

Galatians 5:13-26

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

God does not give us the liberty to be selfish, to be mindful of our own needs more than others.

Our talents and resources must be used for the benefit of others.
We must serve one another with a heart full of sincere love.
Other people must be valued with such immense consideration as to cause us to willingly suffer for their good.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Envy and jealousness must have no place in our relationship with others.

The welfare of others must have a higher priority than our own earthly comfort.
We must keep ourselves in love; else we can not keep others in love.

It is evil to demand that others submit to you when you are unwilling to suffer and endeavor for their benefit. Where is your peaceful endurance? Where is your kindness and humility?

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

To bite someone is to hurt them. If you hurt them, you may destroy them. You can not know what the full impact may be upon the soul of someone you hurt. They might be eternally lost as a result of your bite. This conduct, biting, does not come by love. The attitude which promotes retaliation and revenge does not come from love.

If you give place to revenge you will lose your own salvation. Christians do not render evil for evil. It is evil to bite someone with whom you disagree.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Just as no man can serve two masters; you can not walk in the Spirit and also walk in the flesh at the same time. Either, you will walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. You can not do both at the same time. If you know that your actions are the fruit of the flesh ruling in your life, then you know that you are not full of the Holy Ghost. If your spirit consistently rules over your flesh then you know that you have the Spirit of God because the Holy Spirit is the only one who makes the power available.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

It is your responsibility to judge yourself and know if you are living after the flesh or after the Spirit. If you can not do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do then you know that although He is speaking to you, He is not ruling in your heart. Your soul is not full of the Holy Ghost.

If your anger and other human emotions have such a great degree of influence over your decisions, attitudes and conduct that you act in a manner un-Christ-like then you are not full of the Holy Ghost. If pride which seeks glory and self recognition is motivating your behavior, then you do not have the Holy Ghost abiding in your heart.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

A Spirit filled person does not need to be forced by the letter of the law to obey. The Spirit filled person will obey because he loves God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants to do the right thing. He will readily and easily submit to the Holy Spirit. It is frequently necessary to correct a young child with a rod to teach them to obey. There are too many babes around the church today.

1 Corinthians 3 surely applies to these folks today.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

The first four sins mentioned are sexual sins. This has always been the greatest of Satan’s snares. Many church of God ministers have fallen into the sin of immorality. Many sinners are in strong bondage to sexual immorality. Remember, every sin begins in the heart when the temptation to commit sin becomes the desire of a person, he is already guilty of that sin.

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

We don’t have time in this lesson to define and comment on each of the sins which are given in this terrible list. The important think you must recognize is that you can not be guilty of these sins and inherit the kingdom of God. We do feel compelled to define a few of the sin in this list.
Hatred hostile, hateful opposition
Variance contentious quarrelling
Emulations jealous and unjust anger
Strife a self seeking party spirit
Seditions causing division, breaking unity
Envying jealous spite, petty ill will

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The fruit of the Spirit bears these characteristics. If the Holy Spirit has filled the soul, the person will possess these characteristics. If these characteristics are absent from the persons conduct, it is an absolute fact that the Holy Spirit has not yet made His abode in that person’s soul.

It all begins with the law and the power of God’s love.

Jesus said, John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

If you love Jesus, you will keep His commandments and His commandments are not grievous. If you love Him, you will obey Him. If you obey Him, you will have peace and joy. If you have peace and joy in your own soul, then you can be longsuffering and gentle with others. If you obey Christ, goodness and faith will come naturally. By the power of the Holy Ghost, you can be able to control the appetites of the flesh and be temperate in all things.

You do not need the law to obtain these things. You need to so love the Lord Jesus Christ that you submit yourself to His full control. Because as the next verse says: “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

If you live in the Spirit, you will also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Don’t desire glory for yourself. It is not ourselves we are trying to exalt and cause the world to see; it is Jesus.

Don’t provoke one another to do something wrong.

Don’t envy what another person has. Go to God and seek the gift and talent that He wants to give to you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Perfect Man - Be Ye Holy

Many people have been led to believe that there is "none good." They have been falsely instructed by false prophets and those who have not found the truth of holiness.

I have listed many scriptures to help the honest soul to know the truth on this subject. If you really want to seek after God and know the truth that is found in His Holy Word, please study the following scriptures. I could comment and provide an explanation for each of the following scriptures; however, the Holy Ghost will teach you if your heart is right.

The first step in understanding the Word of God is to repent of your sins and let the Holy Spirit be your teacher.

HOLINESS

Leviticus 11:45 be holy, for I am holy
Nehemiah 9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them
Psalms 32:1,2 blessed is he…in whose spirit there is no guile
Psalms 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Jeremiah 50:20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve
Malachi 2:17 ye say, every one that doeth evil is good
Luke 1:74-75 serve him…in holiness
Luke 6:43 a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit
Luke 15:7 that need no repentance
1 Corinthians 3:17 for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
2 Corinthians 7:1 perfecting holiness…cleanse ourselves
Ephesians 1:4 holy and without blame
Colossians 2:11 in putting off the body of the sins
Colossians 3:1-6 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Hebrews 12:14 follow peace…and holiness
1 Peter 1:16 be ye holy, for I am holy
2 Peter 3:11 holy conversation and godliness

PERFECTION

Genesis 6:9 Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Genesis 17:1 Abram...be thou perfect [Note: This is a command]
Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
Job 1:1 Job...that man was perfect
Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Proverbs 2:21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
Matthew 5:48 be ye therefore perfect
Matthew 19:21 If thou wilt be perfect
Luke 1:6 walking in all...blameless
1 Corinthians 1:8 that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:6 among them that are perfect
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 13:9,11 “be perfect” means to be complete and mature in your obedience
Ephesians 1:4 we should be holy and without blame
Ephesians 4:12,13 unto a perfect man
Philippians 3:10-16 “not” perfect in his relationship to his goal; “is” perfect in his relationship with his God
Colossians 1:28 present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 4:12 Stand perfect and complete in all the will
1 Thessalonians 2:10 holily and justly and unblameably
1 Thessalonians 3:10 perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God
2 Timothy 3:7 the man of God may be perfect
Hebrews 6:1 Let us go on unto perfection
Hebrews 9:9 could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Hebrews 9:14 purge your conscience from dead works
Hebrews 10:1 make the comers thereunto perfect.
Hebrews 10:14 by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Hebrews 12:23 the spirits of just men made perfect
Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will
James 1:4 ye may be perfect and entire
1 John 2:4,5 in him verily is the love of God perfected



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There Is None Good

A co-worker said to me, “Don’t call me good. There is none good but God.”

Is God the only one who is “good”?

Matthew 19:17, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:

To understand this statement, one must answer a few questions.
Q: To whom was Jesus speaking?
A: To a man who was not wholly consecrated to walking in the light of truth.
Q: Why did Jesus say to this man, "there is none good but one, that is, God."?
A: To cause the man to recognize that no man is good except he be of God.
Q: Did Jesus exclude himself from the list of those who are good?
A: No, because he is one with God.
Q: Did Jesus exclude his disciples from the list of those who are good?
A: No, because we also are one with the Father and the Son.

John 17: 11, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”

John 17:20-23
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

By the words of Christ we know the answer to the question: Who is the one good?

It is that body of members who are one with the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost and them who have become one with this Holy Trinity. Jesus could have asked this rich, young ruler this question with these words: “By calling me good, do you believe that I am come from God?”

There are none good, except those who have been made one with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 7:17-21
17 Even so every good tree [man] bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree [man] bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree [man] cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree [man] bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree [man] that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Is Jesus talking about trees; or, is He using trees as a symbol for men? To understand this passage properly you must substitute the word man for the word tree in each verse. There are good men [trees] and there are evil men [trees].

Matthew 25:21, His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Jesus said that this man was a good servant. Was this servant a good man? Yes, because of his obedience which made him part of the family of God, whose members are all good. Are you a good servant? On the judgment day will Jesus be able to say to you, “Enter in thou good and faithful servant?”

Acts 11:24, For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

Was Barnabas a good man? The word of God says that he was a good man. Why was he a good man? Because, he was full of the Holy Ghost and full of faith. Are you full of the Holy Ghost and faith?

Romans 3:10-18
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

“There is none righteous, no not one.” To whom is this written? It is written to the fool and the wicked. It is obvious that verses 11-18 do not apply to the children of God who live holy by the grace of God.
Is there none righteous?
Is there none that understands?
Is there none that seek after God?
Are they all gone out of the way?
Are they all unprofitable?
Do they all curse, murder, lie and destroy?
It is absurd to apply the words “there is none good” and “there is none righteous” to the children of God in the family of God. A true Christian is that person who has been converted from evil to righteousness. He has been made good by God’s goodness. He has become one with the goodness of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

When the Word of God says: “there is none that doeth good” to whom is it speaking? It is speaking in reference to the fool. It is the fool that has spoken evil. There is not one good fool. Are you a fool? If you are, then you are not good. Are you a child of God? If you are, then you have been made one with the goodness which comes only from God.

1 Timothy 4:6, If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

There are good ministers who have been made good by Him who is good.

2 Timothy 2:3, Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

There are good Christian soldiers who have been made good by Him who is good.

Titus 2:5, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

There are good women who have been made good wives by the grace of God.

1 Peter 4:10, As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

There are good stewards who have been made good by the manifold grace of God.

3 John 11, Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Do not follow a man who makes excuses for his sinful disobedience by hiding behind a verse in the Bible that says there is none good.

He that doeth good is of God.

He that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Believe what the Bible teaches, not what some sinful man has taught.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sarah Warner's Opposition to D.S. Warner

The following excerpt is from the book “Birth of a Reformation” by A.L. Byers. It is the account of D.S. Warner’s wife opposing him in his ministry. I re-print this sympathetically because I have experienced a measure of the cup of his suffering. My wife has repented twice since she falsely accused me of sinful conduct. And yet, she claims to be saved and has stated to me that she had nothing to do with me not being the pastor of the Church of God of Knoxville. It is a very sad occasion when a person refuses to listen to the Holy Ghost and follows the counsel of men.

The following except can be found on pages 312 through 321 of the book “Birth of a Reformation:”

The Bucyrus assembly was but one engagement with the forces that at this time had gathered to oppose and overthrow the reformation work which Brother Warner and The Trumpet had begun. Other instruments were to figure in the struggle, and another terrific battle was soon to follow. There were two prominent holiness teachers who were not in sympathy with Brother Warner's position regarding sects. They opposed the coming out from denominationalism. R. S. Stockwell was a young minister who had helped in the meetings and who had been loved and respected by both Brother Warner and Sister Warner, but had become exalted in himself and deceived, and had sprung a very pernicious doctrine, the doctrine of marital celibacy. He held that the sex relation was carnal; that when a person was fully cleansed, the love for a husband or wife was no more than the love for any one else; especially, that if a husband and wife were not in harmony it would be wrong for them to maintain the conjugal relation or be to each other anything more than to any one else; and that they would have more love for others with whom they were in harmony than for their own companion, etc. The attainment along this line was an advanced experience, a sort of third work of grace.

Sister Warner was a splendid woman and had been a faithful companion to her husband. She had borne her part well in the arduous duties of their evangelical career. But there had come in some disorder that had begun to affect their fellowship. Brother Warner mentions it thus in his "Meditations."

First there appeared mysteriously withal,
Some leprous spots on our domestic wall.
Though plague soon marred our holy fellowship,
Then ate like moth the threads of love that knit
Our hearts and souls in sweet connubial bliss,
And made us one in sympathetic flesh.

It is probable that this would have been but temporary had not deceiving forces combined to turn her mind and estrange her from her husband. She came from a well-to-do family, and it is possible that the contrast of a life more or less destitute of physical comfort had some weight with her at this time and made her susceptible to the suggestion that perhaps The Trumpet could be more successfully managed in the hands of some one else. There were those who were desirous of taking it over and had the means to invest in it. Under Stockwell's instruction she endeavored to consecrate for the "third work," and under his enamoring influence the enemy took advantage of her state of mind, and she came into affinity with spirits that antagonized the work that the lord had been accomplishing through her and her husband. Once in the hands of these enemies, the "flying roll," which had begun to carry messages of salvation to thousands, would of course have to cease its mission. A league of babel spirits, though dissimilar in character, comprising free-love, anti-ordinance, anti-second-work, and anti-come-out elements, had united against Brother Warner.

In a meeting at a private house in Bucyrus, Stockwell, who had begun to assume a papal-like authority, gave those assembled about an hour's harangue, which was like a gathering storm about to break on Brother Warner. There were peculiar manifestations at this meeting. On a lounge lay a woman of frightful appearance, her face drawn, her eyes sunken, and she was uttering moans. Another, a man with distorted limbs and scowling countenance, also gave evidence of an attack upon his body by some supernatural power. It was claimed by Stockwell that these were divine evidences that some one needed to be set right; just who, the Lord would make known. Each began to say, "Lord, is it I?" Brother Warner had been asking the Lord for wisdom and had been shown that after some trial of suffering he would be able to take God himself for his wisdom. Now, since his wife had taken sides with others who held that he was not right, and since he was ready to suspect himself as being in error rather than his wife, he felt that possibly they were right in their contention that the error lay with him. In his intense eagerness to be right with God and have the blessing of fellowship restored in his family, he became a victim. He bowed before them.

A suppliant in that infernal maze,
To evil spirits' much elated gaze.

His critics gathered around him and waited with agonizing groans while Stockwell pried into his consecration and asked whether he was willing to sell The Gospel Trumpet. They said they felt that such was God's will and that if he was not able to see it he should be wise and act upon their judgment, and that his soul would be blessed in so doing. Brother Warner consented, but reserved one condition--that should God, ere the transfer be made, interdict the order and show him differently, he of course would obey God. They said, "No, but that 'if' you must leave out." Finally he was persuaded to drop the if. Then the agonies of those who, it was claimed, were groaning for him, ceased and gave place to fiendish laughter, as they supposed God's "flying roll" was taken. This was the crisis that had come upon his soul; this the price he had to pay for a decision to preach uncompromisingly the truth that should create a shudder in the ranks of hell and work a reformation in the world. Opposing forces had succeeded in getting him to consent to give up The Trumpet and yield to the suggestion that he was not right.

But the promised blessings did not come to his soul; on the contrary he was plunged into spiritual darkness. He had weakened and given over his sacred trust. What a night of suffering followed! Only with the morning that swept away the horrors of night came a spiritual illumination and consequent victory. His very disappointment had brought reason to its throne and changed the aspect of the situation. And the Lord broke the satanic spell, filled his soul with peace, and enlightened his understanding as to the devilish powers that had been seeking to crush his soul. He went to the little publishing office, bowed in thankfulness, renewed his covenant, and was swallowed up completely in God once more. He then felt that he could henceforth take the Lord for his wisdom against all the suggestions of men or devils transformed as angels of light.

But now he began to realize that his trueness to God would mean the sacrifice of his own bosom companion. This, then, should be the lingering phase of his sorrow. For about one week the battle alternated between victory and the attacks of hell. Morning would bring apparent release, and Satan's hosts would flee, only to renew the conflict when the shadows of evening gathered around him. His strength wore away. He prayed that he might be comforted by some friend, if one were left.

There was a brother, a John N. Slagle, whom God had reserved and who had expressed to Brother Warner a forewarning of some trouble. This brother came to him and took him to his home, seven miles in the country, where was enjoyed a sweet sleep and a respite from the storm's rage. The poem Meditations on the Prairie, is very touching in its description of these experiences. What this humble servant of God had to pass through in this trying ordeal only One can know. In one long sleepless night of parching fever and inward pain a portion of his hair suddenly turned grey. What that the Trumpet during this period was sometimes late in reaching its readers or that for four months it failed to appear at all!

With repeated endeavor Brother Warner tried to win back his alien wife. They had one child, a boy of three years. He had fears that he should have to be separated from the child also; but it seemed the mother's affection for both husband and child had forever flown. She wrote her husband that he could come and get the child for aught she cared.

The train that bore us onward to that son
Seemed slow that day, so very slow to run.
We met, and lo, upon his little face
A famine of parental love we trace.

Three days we tarried there in strong appeal
That God would make that woman's heart to feel
One touch of love, yea, but one precious beam
Of fond affection where a living stream

Once issued forth to bless our happy home,
But now, alas, congealed in icy zone.
In vain was wished one moment's private talk;
At last 'twas begged that we together walk

Outside the city, where repose the dead,
In silence slumb'ring in their narrow bed,
And where, between two virgal evergreens,
A little mound more dear than any seems:

The grave of our Levilla Modest child,
On whose sweet brow but three bright summers smiled.
She was her mother's idol and firstborn,
Her childish virtues memory still adorn.

But this request she coolly yet declined,
As if no love to living or dead remained.
Then, taking that one warm and little hand,
We slowly walked to where cold marbles stand.

Dear Sidney chatted merrily on the way
Not knowing what within our bosom lay:
'Twas hard to answer to his prattling words
With but the tearful tribute grief 'affords.

Poor child! God bless him! We devoutly pray
He ne'er may feel what father felt that day.
We came to where there had been laid to rest
The form, now cold, that we had known was blessed

To hold a pure and lovely spirit-bud
That went to blossom in the home of God.
And there beside the foot of that small mound
We knelt in prayer upon the turfy ground.

Dear Sidney--bless the child--rememb'ring how
In family worship he was wont to bow
Close to our side in sweet becoming grace,
He gently came and now resumed his place.

His tender heart beat with devotion there
As soft his name was breathed in fervent prayer.
But oh, that hour! what deep emotions rose!
No earthly language could our heart disclose.

For our child's dear sake some feeble words were used,
But they failed to carry what was inward used.
Oh! how our heart longed for the poet's flight
Oh! sing relief to deep affection's blight.

When touched emotions rise like a swelling flood
And merge the soul, oh! it is then we would
That some kind angel could but lend his harp
To start the flowing of a surcharged heart.

But mundane language gave no wings to thought;
Our feelings could in tears alone flow out.

Brother Warner endeavored to regard this alienation of his wife as Providential. He took it all for good and felt that by it he would experience all the more of Heaven's riches in his soul.

Through the kindness of a brother who happened to have a copy of The Christian Harvester of May 1, 1884, we are able to give to the readers the article by Mrs. Warner in which she renounced the movement which she brands Come-outism.

COME-OUTISM RENOUNCED

The following communication pretty fully explains itself. It was written by Sister Warner, the wife of D. S. Warner, the Come-out leader, and editor of The Gospel Trumpet. Those who know Sister W. generally, among the straight holiness people. have confidence in her integrity. God bless her, and may she save her husband from his strong delusions. She desires the holiness papers to copy her article:

Dear Brother Doty: My soul praises God today for a perfect salvation in Jesus. He sweetly abides in my heart, and I do know that his Word is true. His promises to save from all sin and keep in perfect peace are most wonderfully verified in my case; praise his name! Salvation is sweeter to my soul every day I live.

And how sweetly Jesus whispers,
Take the cross, thou needst not fear;
For I've trod this way before thee,
And the glory lingers near

Yea, praise God for the cross, and the glory that always follows.

I feel it my duty to say to all God's children, that he has opened my eyes to see the evils of come-outism. I am free from it, and forever renounce it and praise God that he has so completely delivered me from the spirit of it. I am thoroughly convinced that this effort to unite God's people by calling them out of the churches is not God's plan of unity. It simply cuts off a few members by themselves, who get an idea that none are clearly sanctified unless they see as "we" do; and, then, they have a harsh grating that is the very opposite of love. I have found that the predominant spirit of the come-out movement is the same self righteous, pharisaical spirit that Christ rebuked when he was here on earth. They hold and teach that no one can be entirely sanctified and belong to a "sect."

It is not necessary for me to speak of the fanaticism and absurdities connected with this movement; but I am not at all surprised to hear of men losing their minds after passing through such a meeting as the assembly at Sulphur Springs last November. I have seen more Babylon confusion outside the churches than in. I know whereof I speak, for I have been connected with the movement from its beginning, and, as you all know, at the very head of it. And while I believe it my duty before God to renounce it, and stand aloof from it, I have all charity for those connected with it. I am confident that I have nothing in my heart but love toward them all, and love to my husband; nor do I reject him, but I can not endorse either the movement or its organ, The Gospel Trumpet. I must obey God, and walk in the light he has given me, or forfeit salvation, which I can not afford to do. I have suffered the loss of all things, but rejoice to know that I am counted worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake.

In taking this step for Cod I have not been hasty. I have been convicted of this duty for some time. Circumstances and the manifestations of the spirit of this movement have been such for several months past that I fear further delay on my part would be disastrous to the cause of Christ and my own soul. I humbly ask the prayers of all God's children that he will keep me firm and sweet while passing through the furnace.

Mrs. S. A. Warner.
Upper Sandusky, Ohio, April 22, 1864.

Brother Warner deplored his wife's going into print with their trouble. A number of the so-called holiness papers made remarks that were reflective on Brother Warner and the cause of truth. On account of this, he felt it necessary to make some reply in The Trumpet and set forth the facts concerning his wife. In the issue of July 15, 1884, he made a very clear delineation of the whole affair. He showed the sad deception into which his wife had fallen, how it had affected her conduct, and hardened her conscience to do things she was never known to do before, even to being untruthful, and yet publish her testimony abroad that she was more sweetly saved than ever.

End of excerpt.
Many saints would be surprised if they knew all the details of my experience which parallel that of this great soldier of the cross. I have been falsely accused, in the last few days, of being guilty of teaching false doctrine and destroying the Church of God of Knoxville. I have been falsely accused of striking out in revenge and retaliation. Robin Thames spoke publicly to my wife, with me sitting in the congregation, telling her “Sister Storts, let me be the man you submit to.” All these things and many others have been stated publicly from their pulpits. Yet, they would condemn me for making their deeds known to the universal body of the church of God.

A SAD EPILOGUE

It is February 6, 2012. There have been some important developments in reference to my relationship with the Church of God of Knoxville. I have committed my experience to the review of the church of God at large. I do not believe actions and expressions such as these should be “swept under the rug” and hid from those who have been affected or influenced. It is my prayer that, like the life of Joseph and his brothers, God will take what was intended as evil for me and turn it into good for the universal family of God. The trials and tests of this life are allowed by our God to teach us the way of righteousness. I do not desire any person to condemn another person and make hasty sin charges. I do desire that you pray for those who have been caught in the snare of making false accusations. Pray for the spiritual enlightenment of a congregation of precious souls who are following the counsel of men instead of the counsel of the Holy Ghost.

On Saturday, December 24, 2011, Theresa Storts (my wife) testified to me (her husband) that God had revealed to her that she had held bitterness in her heart toward her husband for many years. She asked me to forgive her. She said that the Holy Spirit had convicted her of sin and shown her that she has not been saved for many years. She said that the Holy Spirit had shown her that she had been guilty of the same sin with which she had charged her husband (me). With a very emotional, broken and contrite heart, she asked me not to share this information with anyone until she had time to tell people. She said that she wanted to be the first to tell her children and try to explain. I told her I would give her time to share her report with others. After waiting for forty days, I have concluded that there is no explanation forthcoming. I believe she has been counseled to be quite.

This is the second time she has repented of being a sinner, since she facilitated the October 29, 2006 excommunication of her husband from the congregation and fellowship which he had been a part of for 30 year. The first time was just before the June 2007 Camp Meeting in Lakeland, Florida. When she returned from that meeting, she informed me that she had recanted of her repentance and that she really was not and had not been a sinner. I can only conclude that the ministers at the Lakeland Fellowship did not accept her repentance and instructed her to recant of that repentance. I have no evidence that her effort to repent was ever made public to the local congregation. If the ministry would have allowed her repentance to become public knowledge, then the people would have known that the ministry had accepted a sinner’s false accusations against a fellow minister; and, that they had accepted the sinner as a saint and excommunicated a saved minister as a sinner.
On Monday, December 26, 2011, Theresa said that she would not be attending the Morgan City New Year’s Fellowship even though her mother would be there. She dearly loves her mother and takes advantage of every opportunity to be with her. It appears possible that Theresa was counseled to stay home and not attend the meeting. I suspect that her pastor, Robin Thames, desired to discuss this with other ministers before taking any public action.

On Monday, January 2, 2012, I asked Theresa what Pastor Robin Thames’ response was to her confession of sin. She told me that she had complete confidence in Pastor Robin Thames as her pastor and that I must just leave her in the hands of God. She would not share any information about her pastor’s position on her repentance.
On Thursday, January 05, 2012, at about 2:30 p.m. I made a request by telephone to Pastor Robin Thames to meet with him sometime after 6:00 p.m. that day. He said that he had been expecting to receive a call from me. He said that he would take my request into consideration and call me by 6:00 p.m. At 5:50 p.m. Pastor Thames sent a text message saying that he was busy moving a refrigerator to one of the church’s rental trailers. Text msg reads, “I will call. I am delivering a fridge to the parsonage for Hope and Rebecca. But I will be tied up for a bit.” At 7:00 p.m. he sent a second text to say that he was still busy moving the refrigerator. Text msg reads, “Evan and I are still here and still at it. We are having to take the fridge apart and the door off the hinge etc. I will still call when I am through.” At 9:40 p.m. He sent this text to me, “I am still out. You can call me again tomorrow after 10:00 if that’s ok.”

Friday, January 6, 2012. I called Robin Thames around noon, he said he would call me later. Robin Thames called me at about 4:45 p.m. He did not want to meet with me and instead preferred to engage me in conversation by telephone. We talked for about one and a half hours. He vented all the false charges which have been made against me for several years. His position is: I am a sinner because I left the church of God and went to Babylon. Robin Thames charged me with fellowshipping the Methodist church, the Baptist church and the one cleansing church of God congregations. He accused me of accepting them as being just as saved as any member of the church of God congregations. He accused me of accepting their doctrine by the fact that I had attended their church service. I replied to him that there is a significant difference between visiting with a person (or group) and accepting their beliefs. I may accept a person from the Methodist church, or some other religious organization, as being a child of God, if there is no evidence of sin in their life, without accepting every point of doctrine which they may believe. In the past, we always testified that “we reach our hands in fellowship to every blood washed one”; however, in practice it is not so with these at the COGK.

I asked Pastor Thames how he had counseled my wife regarding her repentance. I told him that he was responsible for the influence of his counsel upon her relationship with God. If he counseled her contrary to the righteous principles of God, he would be held accountable for her soul. He said that he treated her like he would treat any backslider. He said that he told her that she could not be saved and do what she did. He refused to share with me any details of her repentance or his counsel to her.

Robin Thames accused me of destroying the Church of God of Knoxville and hurting people by naming them in my blog postings. It seems that it is quite all right for them to talk about me from the pulpit, but it is a sin if I tell the facts about what has happened in a public forum. Perhaps they have forgotten the scriptures which tell us of Paul’s reproof to Peter which was recorded in writing, shared with all the saints and included in the New Testament for all the world to know. And what about Diotrephes, who turned the people against the apostle John? Who also took upon himself to sit in judgment and cast people out of the church. How many examples do I need to present to show that God inspired the writers of the holy script to name people who got out of order in the house of God?

On January 26, 2012, I asked my son if he had heard any testimony from his mom about her repenting of sin. He said that she had stood up in the congregation and stated that she had failed God and the congregation and asked them to forgive her. He seemed to have no idea of what her sin was or how long she had been in such a condition. If her confession was so concise that it omitted any mention of her making false accusation against her husband to the congregation and to the ministry, then the congregation could think that her failure was something that happened last week or last month. It is my opinion that Pastor Thames has counseled her to repent without giving any details of her sin. Again, the ministry would not want her to testify that she had been a sinner the whole time she was making false accusations of sin against her pastor husband.

Will God accept a prayer of repentance when there is no effort to make restitution to those against whom the transgression was committed? My wife asked me to forgive her. I told her that I did forgive her. I truly believe that she repented to God with a broken and contrite heart. She asked me to wait for her to explain it to others.

After forty day, I have concluded that there is no explanation forthcoming. What she did will not be brought to the attention of those whom she deceived into believing that her husband was a sinner. The people were deceived by false accusations. But we can’t tell the people they were deceived because the ministry participated in accepting the false sin charges against another minister. That would bring into question their integrity and faithfulness in listening to the Holy Spirit. Consequently, Satan triumphs in bring certain ones into bondage to a position where false sin charges were accepted against an innocent person.

One minister who was present in one of the many minister’s meeting wherein they discussed the “Jim Storts Issue”, said that one of the older ministers made this statement, “I want him out of here.” I am out of there. But I am still in the Kingdom of God and they can’t remove me from the Lamb’s Book of Life. They have counseled the saints not to talk to me and they have continually refused to talk to me. However, I am on their hands and I will follow them to the judgment; and then, what will Jesus say. I was wounded in the house of my friends, and my Lord knows all about that. Like the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel who continued to warn the people and proclaim their message in the streets of Jerusalem, I will not be silent when I believe God has required of me to “show the house to the house.”

Ezekiel 43:10-11, “Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”

Can the ministers who know the details of this transgression refuse to make amends for the injustice done, and be accepted by the Lord Jesus Christ? I pray that God will have mercy and see to excuse them for lack of knowledge and wisdom. Pray for my dear wife. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit will allow her to rest without a public repentance for her public offense. It seems to me that the law of restitution would apply in this case.

Restitution is still a righteous law of God. The term “restitution” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as: “1 : an act of restoring or a condition of being restored: as a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury; 2 : a legal action serving to cause restoration of a previous state.” My reputation, testimony and relationship with the Church of God of Knoxville was destroyed. I was robbed of the privilege of fellowship with people whom I love. Will God not require restitution from those who are guilty of causing this division in the family of God?

Note: The details of this act of excommunication, against pastor Jim Storts, have been previously published on this blog site. Those postings may be read by selecting the year 2010 on the side bar for the blog archive and the month April. The account is given in five separate postings. I have a clear conscience in all that I have recorded. I am ready to meet My Lord and My Judge on that final day when my account will be read and my works will be rewarded.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

LEARNED BEHAVIOR

Who has been your teacher? Who taught you what you think you know? The things that you believe, did they come from the mind of men or the mind of God?

Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Let no man deceive you or cause you to believe anything contrary to the clear teaching of God’s word. If you are a Christian, if you are a child of God, then the Holy Spirit will lead you, guide you and teach you all things. If you resist the leadership of the Holy Spirit and you refuse and rebel against His leadership and counsel, you and not a child of God.

1 Corinthians 12:3, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

You can not submit to Jesus as Lord of your life, except you be led and taught by the Holy Ghost. The soul that has acknowledged his sin with a broken and contrite heart will seek after the Lord Jesus Christ as a deer panteth after the water brooks. This is the attitude which King David spoke of when he said in Psalms 42:1-2, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:” The person who truly calls Jesus Lord has become fully aware that his own way leads to failure and destruction.

The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost work together as a Divine Team for the salvation of your soul. They call you, convict you, convince you and if you will obey their voice they will convert you from your sinful ways to the Way of Holiness. God the Father has sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price for your sins that are past and washed away by His blood. Jesus Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to teach you the good news of His gospel and to lead you from glory to glory and from grace to grace. As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Ephesians 3:1-7
3 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

How did Paul come to possess this great knowledge of the way of truth? Who taught Him that Jesus is Lord and Savior of all who believe and keep His commandments? Verse 5 tells us: It was revealed by the Holy Spirit. Paul did not receive his revelation of truth from men but from the Holy Spirit.

Apostles, prophets, teachers and pastors are instruments of righteousness which the Holy Spirit uses to teach you the godly principles which you need to understand to live holy and pleasing unto God. These men of God are not the source of understanding; rather, they are the vessels which are used to convey heaven’s truth to earthly men. Respect them, but do not worship them. A true man of God will lead you to follow Jesus, not himself. A true man of God will direct you to follow the commandments of God not his own personal opinions.

1 John 3:23-24
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

We have had many teachers. Some of them were teachers of man’s ways. Some of them were teachers of God’s way and the ways of men. In other words, part of what they taught was divine truth and part of what they taught was the traditions of men. But there is one Teacher whose teaching has no error and has no influence of men’s ideas.

John 14:23-26
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

I am not of those who oppose pastoral authority. However, I do recognize that pastoral authority has been misused. Some ministers claim to be men of God, led by the Holy Spirit, when in reality, they are teaching the ways of men which they have learned from their spiritual mentors who preceded them. Some ministers have been so highly exalted that people have followed them into error.

Luke 12:8-12
8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Any person who is “full of the Holy Ghost” has the presence and the power of the Holy Ghost within his soul continually. The Holy Ghost does not come and go in the soul of the sanctified child of God. “In the same hour” that you need the Holy Ghost, He will be there to help you. You will not need to be filled again and again, because He abides in your heart. He is the grace in your soul. He is the power which guides your decisions, actions and attitudes. He is the divine influence which enables and produces the unity of spirits which binds men’s hearts together in brotherly love.

Hebrews 5:12-14
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

These are men who have not yielded to the full control of the Holy Spirit. A babe in Christ is that newly born again child of God who is still dependent upon the care of men. The men who are responsible for this newly born again child of God, ought to bring this child to the mature state of perfection. This agrees with the words of Paul in:
Ephesians 4:11-16
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Oh that men would grow up in Christ; speak the truth in love; and, be fitly joined together for the effectual work of God. What a glorious day that would be. Then, the power and glory of God would rest upon the camp of the saints.

Jeremiah 9:1-9
1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.
4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
9 Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

I have spoken all these things to bring you to understand the warning of the prophet Jeremiah. I want to bring your attention to the shocking reality of verse five, “they have taught their tongue to speak lies.” It is not difficult to understand that people teach themselves what they believe. They teach themselves how to act, how to respond to others. We call that “learned behavior.”

Learned behavior is that conduct which results from our cumulative experiences. Learned behavior may be established quickly or through many years of events which stimulate decisions, form opinions, set values and priorities and become beliefs. Learned behavior can be such a slow process as to escape the conscious recognition of its process.

Your have become who you are today by the constant and continual development of learned behavior. Some people do not know who they are. They have deceived themselves in this learning process. They do not know how they have come to be what they have become.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Have you believed a lie? I have! That is why we need the “washing of the water by the word” spoken of by the apostle Paul to the congregation at Ephesus. It is my earnest prayer that the Holy Ghost will wash away all my errors with the precious Words of Jesus Christ. He has cleansed me from all my sin. Now, He wants to cleanse me from all my beliefs which have hindered my usefulness in the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:24-27
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Don’t be offended when people say you have been “brain-washed.” Everyone needs to have their brain washed. If you have been taught a lie concerning any part of the plan of salvation, you need to have that erroneous belief washed away.

Learned behavior is motivated by the attitude of the heart. That is why God, who knows the thoughts and intents of your heart, will be your judge on that final judgment day. You will not be judged on what you think is true. You will be judged on what you wanted to believe to be true. Why did you choose to believe and behave in the way that you have chosen? There is an internal heart condition which regulates the learned behavior process. Out of the heart proceed the issues of life.

When an individual, community or congregation accepts the traditions handed down to them by a previous generation the danger of apostasy is ever present. Traditions consist of learned behavior. Some traditions are free from moral corruption. Other traditions will lead you away from God and will turn your trust to men instead of the Holy Spirit.

What does apostasy look like in the year 2012? What does the word apostasy mean to us, today. Apostasy is the renunciation of a religious faith. It is the abandonment of a previous loyalty to a standard, doctrine, belief and life style. It is a defection from a previous faithfulness.

In John 8:31-45, Jesus spoke to the religious Jewish leaders who had apostatized and seemed to not know their true condition.

John 8:31-45
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Why did these religious men not understand the words of Jesus? They were not listening to the Holy Spirit. They wanted to do things the way they had been taught by their fathers in the flesh. They resisted the Holy Ghost speaking to their hearts warning them of the error of their way. They were too proud to humble themselves and admit that they had believed and taught things which were wrong.

Matthew 15:7-9
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

What doctrines do you believe? Are they right or wrong? Are they from men or from the Holy Spirit?

1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

Does this still happen in the year 2012? Are we above the influence of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils? How do we discern the difference between the true and the false? We can not know or understand truth without the direct assistance of the Holy Ghost.

1 John 2:18-21
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Division and sect making is a consequence of apostasy. When people begin to falsely accuse one another, they will separate from each other. Their contention and strife is the result of their loss of faith. Brotherly love does not continue. In an effort to purge the congregation of a presupposed evil, they have lost their burden for the salvation of him that has a weakness. To expose a weakness is the work of a friend. To falsely accuse a brother of sin is the work of an enemy.

The Seventh Seal Silence has produced an apostasy which has become the inheritance and the learned behavior of the 21st Century church of God.

Think about it! Are you listening and submitting to that still small voice which is the Holy Ghost trying to teach you the way of truth? Are you too proud to ask your children or the congregation to forgive you for teaching something that was wrong? Perhaps you will consider and think of some things you have learned and be pleased with yourself that you have changed. But is that all that the Holy Ghost wants you to change? Are you still holding on to something which the Holy Ghost wants you to turn lose and let it be washed away by the truth? Salvation is to them that obey.